Advancing psychology’s role in improving health with new Center for Psychology and Health

Initial priorities include highlighting psychological contributions to health promotion and disease prevention, expanding psychologists’ roles in integrated health care and working to ensure the public’s access to health psychology services.

The new APA Center for Psychology and Health coordinates activities across the association to expand psychology’s role in advancing health — one of APA’s strategic goals. Working closely with the APA Practice Organization, the center provides resources through its webpages and programming to encourage and prepare more psychologists to take part in the broader health care system.

Collaborating with APA’s Interdivisional Healthcare Committee, center staff created an initial set of 10 health care briefing sheets to highlight psychologists’ roles in in addressing health concerns, including pediatric and adult cancer, heart disease and chronic pain. Work will include showcasing to the general public the journal articles, scientific literature, books and other resources APA has on each topic.

Reviewing both the evidence base for integrated health care and the value of including psychologists on interprofessional teams is another priority for the center. 

The center also includes APA’s new Office of Health Care Financing, which advocates for federal and commercial payment policies that sustain and promote psychological services in the health care system.

APA’s CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD, directs the center, involving a health leadership team of senior executive staff. Other senior staff and APA members offer guidance on specific initiatives. The center is also developing partnerships with APA divisions and other organizations, including the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, among others.