In 2000, the APA Working Group on Assisted Suicide and End-of-Life Decisions presented a report to the APA Council of Representatives that offered numerous recommendations for educating and mobilizing psychology to advance end-of-life care and research. The Council of Representatives subsequently created and charged the Ad Hoc Committee on End-of-Life Issues with implementing those recommendations.
Among other projects, the committee published a journal article on the emerging roles for psychologists in end-of-life care, such as working more closely with older adults (see page 53, "Improving the end of life for older adults") and improving grief counseling (see page 51, "A new approach to complicated grief").
The committee also formed a task force to examine the unique end-of-life issues of children and adolescents. That task force produced a report on practice, research, training and policy issues for psychologists involved with children and families dealing with end-of-life issues (see page 55, "Special attention for children").
This year, members of the Ad Hoc Committee helped obtain a grant for APA from the National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research program to develop an Internet-based program for educating psychologists and other mental health providers about effective strategies for working with patients and families near the end of life. APA will develop the program with a small business located in Seattle, eNURSING LLC.
Additional information about the work of the committee and the task force can be obtained by contacting the APA staff liaison for end-of-life issues, John Anderson, PhD, at (202) 336-6051 or by e-mail, or by visiting the APA eol Web site.
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