If you think psychologists' advocacy isn't making a difference, think again. The work of several psychologists over the past year has led to key gains for psychology, particularly greater support for the delivery of mental health care services to underserved populations and more funds for psychologists' training.
To honor psychological advocates behind these successes, scores of graduate student advocates, psychologists and state association and division leaders attended the annual Education Advocacy Breakfast, held Saturday, Aug. 5, during APA's 2000 Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.
The breakfast recognizes advocacy initiatives and gains in federal support for psychology education and training. This year's honorees included those who have expanded psychology's role in the National Health Service Corps, which provides financial aid to health professionals, including psychologists, in exchange for service in underserved areas. Other honorees were lauded for their work to ensure mental health was a key component of the Older Americans Act reauthorization.
Board of Educational Affairs chair Robert Frank, PhD, of the University of Florida presented a presidential citation to private practitioner Herbert Goldstein, PhD, of St. Petersburg, Fla., for his help in successfully securing $1 million in federal support for the delivery of mental and behavioral health care to rural areas.
"Because of your personal dedication, determination and generosity, greater numbers of psychology students will now be able to participate in the Bureau of Primary Health Care's National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs," read Goldstein's citation.
The keynote speaker for the breakfast, Hollis Turnham, JD, of Sen. Jim Jeffords's (RVt.) office, received an award from the Board of Educational Affairs for her contributions to the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. Thanks to her work with APA staff, the legislation includes provisions for training psychologists and other mental health professionals in the specialty of gerontology, as well as establishing multidisciplinary centers of gerontology with a special emphasis on mental health.
Another key player in the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, Paula Hartman-Stein, PhD, of the Center for Healthy Aging, encouraged psychologists and graduate students to advocate for psychologists' education and training. Through regular visits to Capitol Hill, Hartman-Stein built a strong relationship with Rep. Thomas Sawyer (DOhio), which led to her having powerful input on the Older Americans Act.