State, federal legislators honored for commitment to psychology
Every year during the Practice Leadership Conference held in Washington, D.C., the APA Practice Organization recognizes a member of Congress. This year, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., were honored for their leadership and support promoting mental health. The Practice Organization awarded Murphy and Chu with the 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award, given annually to members of Congress in recognition for exceptional work on behalf of professional psychology. Chu attended the ceremony and Joe Dunn, Murphy’s policy advisor, accepted the award on the senator’s behalf.
Murphy is a champion in leading the fight to reform the country’s mental health system. His bipartisan bill, the Mental Health Reform Act, introduced with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and enacted into law in 2016, requires that individuals receive appropriate and timely mental health services, additional resources for early intervention measures and appropriate funding for proven interventions.
Chu displays strong support for the Medicare Mental Health Access Act. As a psychologist, she understands the importance for individuals to receive high-quality access to mental health services. As a strong advocate for mental health reform, she has fought to protect the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.
“Both Senator Murphy and Representative Chu demonstrate strong leadership in prioritizing the importance of mental health reform. They have been strong advocates for individuals receiving fair and appropriate mental health services,” said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, APA Practice Organization.
Nebraska State Sen. John Stinner, Sr. recognized for commitment for better access to behavioral health services
Nebraska State Sen. John Stinner, Sr., R-District 48, received the 2018 State Legislator of the Year award in recognition of his outstanding commitment to legislative action in support of psychologists’ efforts to provide behavioral health services to underserved constituents in Nebraska. The State Legislator of the Year Award has been presented annually since 2003 to a state legislator who has prominently championed the goals of professional psychology.
Stinner’s legislative mission acknowledges the healthcare needs of constituents in underserved areas of western Nebraska. Working with psychologists in his district and the Nebraska Psychological Association, Stinner promotes access to care through support for funding for education in healthcare professions, budgetary emphasis on providing insurance, and appropriate provider reimbursement.
“Senator Stinner recognizes the important role psychologists serve in the community and has shown perseverance and invaluable dedication in providing his constituents with the appropriate mental health resources. His legislative actions are instrumental addressing important mental health issues at the state level,” said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, APA Practice Organization.
Stinner’s previous legislative action has led to the introduction of a Legislative Review (LR-238) that addresses funding for behavioral and mental health internship programs in western Nevada. In addition, his leadership facilitated additional fully-funded integrated care psychology internships placement for 2018-19. In opposing the governor’s veto to cut funding for behavioral health provider rates, Stinner demonstrated his commitment to making sure that mental health providers can continue serving their most vulnerable constituents.