April 8, 2010

Statement in Response to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Veto of SB 1046

Enacting prescriptive authority for psychologists would have enhanced consumer access to mental health treatment in Oregon.

WASHINGTON—Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski today vetoed a bill that would have enabled appropriately trained psychologists to prescribe certain medications for the treatment of mental health disorders in Oregon. Oregon SB 1046 passed the Oregon House of Representatives on February 24, 2010, but was vetoed at the 11th hour by Governor Kulongoski. Enacting prescriptive authority for psychologists would have enhanced consumer access to mental health treatment in Oregon, reports the American Psychological Association.

“We are very disappointed that SB 1046 failed at the last hurdle. Oregon legislators overwhelmingly voted for this bill showing a commitment to providing integrated health care for Oregonians” says Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, American Psychological Association. “Prescribing psychologists save patients’ time and money and enable consumers to see a single provider for their mental health treatment. This law would have helped patients get the care that they need without unnecessary delays, long journeys or additional costs.”

“The Oregon Psychological Association (OPA) accomplished a great feat by getting SB 1046 passed by both houses of the Oregon state legislature. They should be commended for all their work to help advance psychological services and access to mental health care.”

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 152,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.