APA Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Military and Mental Health Needs
On May 26th, APA held a standing-room-only Congressional briefing on "Psychology in Service to America's Military Personnel, Veterans and Their Families," co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Three distinguished psychologist speakers highlighted important roles played by psychology within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), focusing on training, research and clinical care. Antonette Zeiss, PhD (Director of Training, Psychology Service, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System) discussed cutting-edge models of VA internship training designed to meet the needs of returning military personnel; Terence Keane, PhD (Associate Chief of Staff for Research & Development, VA Boston Healthcare System) presented the most up-to-date research in the areas of assessing and treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; and Harold Wain, PhD (Chief, Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center) outlined his team's clinical work with hospitalized, traumatically injured soldiers returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom deployments.
The briefing, designed to educate Members of Congress and their staff, was moderated by APA CEO Norman Anderson, PhD and drew a large crowd from House and Senate personal offices, congressional committees, DoD offices related to health, reserves & disability issues, the VA, and a variety of other federal agencies and nonprofit associations related to military and mental health. Three Congressmen attended the briefing and made remarks, including two psychologists (Democratic Reps. Ted Strickland from Ohio and Brian Baird from Washington) and a former Army officer and veteran, Republican Rep. Rob Simmons from Connecticut.