Activities of the Center
The APA Center for Psychology and Health designs, implements, tracks and evaluates activities in four areas: Education and training, advocacy, public education and outreach, and member communications. Such activities include:
Education and Training
- Educate high school and undergraduate students about psychology's role in health.
- Expand opportunities for graduate, internship, and postdoctoral education and training related to interprofessionalism and integrated health care.
- Create continuing education and professional development programs focused on health promotion, disease prevention, primary care and integrated health care.
- Disseminate the blueprint for education and training from the Health Service Psychology Education Collaborative that articulates competencies for health service providers in psychology.
- Promote the report of the Interorganizational Work Group on Competencies in Primary Care Psychology Practice (PDF, 346KB).
- Disseminate the report of the Task Force on Primary Care Psychology Training (PDF, 241KB) of APA's Board of Educational Affairs and address recommendations prioritized by BEA.
- Compile and promote the APA Directory of Primary Care Psychology Education and Training Programs at the doctoral, internship and postdoctoral levels.
- Highlight and further the involvement and contributions of psychologists to the expanding model of integrated health care through the Integrated Health Care for an Aging Population Initiative.
- Offer training programs and technical assistance nationwide through the HIV Office for Psychology Education and the Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer Program to psychologists and other mental health professionals to provide integrated care for persons with mental health problems, substance use disorders and HIV/AIDS.
- Collect, analyze and disseminate information about the psychology workforce through APA's Center for Workforce Studies.
- Serve on the advisory board of the MedEdPORTAL's iCollaborative of the Association of American Medical Colleges to develop teaching materials for health professionals related to the prevention, assessment, and treatment of mental and behavioral health and substance use disorders.
- Advocate for the implementation of health care reform provisions (PDF, 108KB) to enhance the inclusion of psychologists on interprofessional health teams in primary care, to promote prevention and wellness initiatives and geriatric and pediatric health professions education and training programs, and to eliminate health disparities.
- Lobby for adequate funding for psychological services, training and research programs at federal health and related agencies, both individually and in concert with other organizations, such as the Coalition for Health Funding and the Mental Health Liaison Group.
- Partner with federal agencies on initiatives to provide psychological services to at-risk populations and to advance the applications of behavioral and social science research to serious diseases.
- Identify and overcome Medicaid barriers for psychological service delivery and health and behavior services.
- Advocate for appropriate reimbursement for psychological services — mental health, health and behavior, and integrated team Current Procedural Terminology codes — by public and private sector payer systems.
- Improve behavioral health data in electronic health records with broader federal incentives.
- Convene international conferences with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, together with the Society for Occupational Health Psychology, that exhibit psychology's contributions to improving the health and safety of workers.
- Collaborate with other public health organizations to make the case for the application of psychological science to inform the regulatory actions of the Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration.
- Exercise leadership roles in interprofessional health advocacy coalitions.
- Nominate psychologists for key federal and Institute of Medicine advisory panels related to health care services, training and research.
- Advocate for access to psychological services in state health care reform policies and programs, including through participation in state health care reform summits.
- Offer grants to state, provincial and territorial psychological associations from the APA Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice to support their legislative efforts to advance access to psychological services at the state level.
- Support states in their efforts to address state corporate practice of medicine statutes that prevent psychologists from partnering with physicians in integrated health care systems.
- Provide an online community for APA members that serves as a central hub for resources, fosters the partnership between APA and state psychological associations, and supports state-level initiatives.
Public Education and Outreach
- Develop partnerships with primary care and related organizations.
- Partner with the YMCA to address unhealthy behaviors that contribute to chronic illness and increase health care costs.
- Convene summit meetings to address key health disparity concerns that are related to chronic disease with the goal of increasing public understanding of and support for research, training and interventions to reduce disparities and improve the overall health of underserved and vulnerable populations.
- Bolster the capacity-building efforts of stakeholders focused on cancer treatment and prevention, specifically for socioeconomically disadvantaged populations (PDF, 1.3MB), with the assistance of a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Conduct and release the annual Stress in America survey, as part of APA's Mind/Body Health Public Education Campaign, which includes national and local outreach activities to educate the public about stress and the connection between psychological and physical health, as well as the pivotal role of psychologists in supporting healthy lifestyles and behavior change.
- Develop a segment of the APA Public Education Campaign to profile the work of psychology researchers and demonstrate how psychological research helps support successful treatment interventions for behaviorally-linked health disorders.
- Conduct national public opinion surveys in part to gauge the public's understanding of psychology/psychologists as an important component of health care.
- Via APA's publishing program — produce scholarly products and publish research to assist members in acquiring skills needed to work on interdisciplinary health care teams.
- Use ongoing member communications vehicles of APA and APAPO to offer information and resources to assist members in acquiring skills needed to work on interdisciplinary health care teams and to engage in federal and state advocacy in support of health care reform activities.
- Develop communications to support and publicize APA's Clinical Practice Guidelines initiative, with its initial focus on PTSD, obesity and depression. The initiative includes fostering relationships with other organizations and entities, and developing educational materials for panel members and others.