APA Member Delivers Congressional Testimony on Mental Health Systems Reform

Arthur C. Evans is commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

APA member Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, delivered testimony at a March 26, 2014, hearing before the U.S. House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pa., presided over the hearing, titled, “Where have all the patients gone? Examining the psychiatric bed shortage.” The hearing was organized by a member of Congress and practicing psychologist, Rep. Tim Murphy, PhD.

Evans’s statement focused on several important areas, including:

  • The fact that individuals recover successfully from even the most severe mental health and substance use disorders.
  • The need to move away from a crisis-driven system to one that focuses on public health, prevention and early intervention.
  • The necessity of creating a comprehensive lifespan strategy that promotes health in individuals and communities.
  • Providing resources for recovery through a rehabilitation focus including housing, jobs and training for individuals to help them succeed in the community.
  • Creating flexibility and resources in financing to allow mental health systems to focus more on prevention, early intervention and community support.
  • Altering the model of assessing the number of psychiatric beds to take into account community resources.

Meaningful reform of America’s mental health delivery systems represents a long-standing priority for APA. Please sign up for APA Federal Action Network alerts to help support future efforts.