April 27, 2011

American Psychological Association Marks Mental Health Awareness Month with Briefings, Blogs, Chats

WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association will spotlight a range of issues including traumatized children and health disparities among diverse older Americans in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Activities include:
May 3: Congressional Briefing Marking National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 430, 9-10 a.m.

Sponsored by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Mental Health America, the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, this briefing will focus on school mental health and trauma and early intervention services for children and adolescents.

Speakers
  • Kathryn Power, Director, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will share new data on outcomes of programs the center has supported through school and community-based grants. 

  • Abigail Gewirtz, PhD, APA member and director of the Ambit Network at the University of Minnesota, will speak about the success of her National Child Traumatic Stress Network in raising the standard of care and improving access to services for traumatized children and their families. 

  • Andrew, a youth advocate from North Carolina Families United, will share his experience of growing up with mental health challenges and how the services and support he received helped build his resiliency.

May 18: Blogging for Mental Health

APA continues its annual blog party for mental health. Psychologists writing for APA’s public education blog, Your Mind, Your Body, invite people to share their stories related to mental health and emotional wellness. Writers are encouraged to blog about mental health-related topics and use the specially created graphic. More information is available on the blog party page. APA will also host a series of Facebook chats throughout May with psychologists and other experts in mental health on topics such as workplace stress and anxiety.


May 24: Congressional Briefing Addressing Health Disparities Among Diverse Older Americans, G11 Dirksen Senate Office Building, 12-1:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by APA and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, this briefing will focus on health disparities among America’s increasingly diverse aging population.  Specifically, experts will discuss health disparities among ethnic minority and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elders and innovative ways to reduce such disparities in health care settings and communities. 

Speakers
  • Patricia Arean, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, and an APA member, will speak about integrating mental health in primary care to reduce health disparities in older adults.

  • Laurie Young, PhD, director of Public Policy & Government Affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will speak about health disparities in LGBT elders.

  • James Jackson, PhD, University of Michigan and an APA member, will speak about aging, the life course and health disparities.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., 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 154,000 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 health, education and human welfare.