To advance the central role of behavioral and psychological factors in health promotion, prevention, treatment and recovery, APA members, divisions and staff worked together to provide comments on the draft objectives of Healthy People 2020 in December.

Since 1979, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People initiative has set and monitored 10-year national health objectives to meet a broad range of health needs, encourage collaborations across sectors, guide individuals toward making informed health decisions and measure the impact of prevention activities.

Among APA’s suggestions were that the Healthy People 2020 document specifically reference psychologists and health psychologists as members of health-care teams.

“Psychologists are widely recognized as bona fide members of health-care delivery teams and are broadly trained to enhance quality of care and patient outcome,” APA said in its submission.

Representatives from APA’s Div. 38 (Health) and 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues) asked that objectives on reducing the stigma associated with HIV infection and on addressing harassment and bullying involving sexual orientation and gender identity in schools be added to the document. APA’s Office on Aging also requested that the initiative include an objective to reduce mortality and disability due to mental disorders, substance use or cognitive impairments in individuals aged 65 and over.

Members can view all of APA’s comments by entering “American Psychological Association” in the “Search Comments by Organization” field at Healthy People.