APA members did their part to promote research funding and inform the policy-making process in May and June on Capitol Hill and at a Chicago press briefing:
Georgetown University psychologist Darlene Howard, PhD, testified for APA in support of increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee on May 14. Howard used her own NIH-funded research on implicit learning in aging adults to illustrate how such research is increasing knowledge of how to age successfully.
On May 15th, Steve Sellman, PhD, presented APA testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on the contributions Department of Defense-funded psychologists make to national security. Sellman, who has more than 40 years of experience in military personnel management and research, warned against budget cuts that would eliminate funding for critical military research areas, including the need to understand and optimize cognitive functioning, perceptual awareness, complex decision-making, stress resilience and human-systems interactions.
Sellman is vice president and director for public policy issues at the Human Resources Research Organization in Alexandria, Va., and former director for accession policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Postpartum depression expert Susan Benjamin Feingold, PsyD, stressed the importance of more research on postpartum depression at a Chicago news conference sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), APA and the Postpartum Depression Illinois Alliance in support of the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act on May 19.
The bill, written by Rush, directs the National Institute of Mental Health to expand and intensify research on the causes of postpartum depression and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants to increase services for the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression. The bill is named for Chicago native Melanie Blocker-Stokes, who had postpartum psychosis and recently committed suicide.
Feingold, an executive board member of the nonprofit organization Depression After Delivery, specializes in its treatment as a private practitioner in Highland Park, Ill., and offers free support groups for women with postpartum depression.
Michael Cohen, PhD, presented his research findings on national events, trauma and America's schoolchildren on Capitol Hill on June 11. At a briefing co-sponsored by APA and the College Board, Cohen discussed the traumatic effects of Sept. 11, 2001, the war in Iraq and last fall's Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks--particularly how they affect students' postsecondary decisions. Cohen also reported on other types of chronic stress faced by children.
Cohen, a New York City-based developmental psychologist, clinician and consultant, joined the city's crisis response team after Sept. 11. In that role, he advised Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and the city's Department of Education on the effects of trauma, and created related materials to help teachers and parents talk with children about the events.
--COMPILED BY J. CHAMBERLIN