APA CEO participates in White House mental health conference

Norman B. Anderson, PhD, highlighted the need for integrated care and a joint prevention initiative with the YMCA.

By Public Relations staff

Psychologists were represented by APA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Norman B. Anderson, PhD, at the White House National Mental Health Conference on June 3. Anderson spoke of the need for a health care system that ensures patients receive integrated care addressing both mental and physical health. He was part of a five-member panel chaired by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

President Obama gave the opening remarks at the conference and applauded commitments made by organizations representing media, educators, health care providers and other foundations to increase understanding and awareness of mental health.

Anderson also talked about a joint prevention initiative involving APA and the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA). The APA Practice Directorate is working with the Y-USA to develop educational resources to help 18,000 full-time Y staff and 49,000 summer employees who work with youth to identify the signs of depression and other mental health problems in young people. Resources currently under development include a webinar to be moderated by psychologist Mary Alvord, PhD, fact sheets and information on referral resources such as the APA Practice Organization’s Psychologist Locator and state psychological associations’ referral services.

This joint initiative with the Y-USA is part of the association’s prevention efforts in the wake of the December 2012 shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The webinar is scheduled to launch at the end of June, in time for the summer camp season. It will be broadcast live to Y staff across the country and recorded for posting to the Y-USA intranet site.

The webinar and resources will also be made available to members engaged in APA’s public education campaign network and state psychological associations, along with information on how psychologists can connect and work with local YMCAs.

APA and Y-USA have been partnering since 2008. The partnership was created because of the complementary aspects of APA’s Mind/Body Health Public Education Campaign and the Y-USA’s Healthy Family Home initiative.

For more information, contact APA Public Relations staff by email or by phone at (202) 336-5898.