APA CAPP Task Force on Serious Mental Illness/Severe Emotional Disturbance 2010 – 2011 Report

A. 2010 – 2011 Work and Accomplishments

1. With the support of CAPP, the TF again sponsored a CE approved Convention symposium in 2011 which was very well attended. This series of symposia has been supported by CAPP and presented by the TF every year since 2005.

2. The TF also sponsored a conversation hour with Division 12 on new curriculum models for training that featured former TF member Larry Davidson.

3. The TF presented a full day CE workshop at the 2011 convention. As with other TF offerings, the workshop was well attended and received excellent feedback ratings.

4. The TF nominated several individuals to APA Boards and Committees. Nominations supported by the TF were submitted to: CAPP, the Board of Professional Affairs (BPA), the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI), the Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), and the Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP). If these nominees are appointed or elected, the TF hopes that it will raise awareness of psychology’s role in serious mental illness and severe emotional disturbance.

5. The TF nominated two individuals for the APA Clinical Treatment Guidelines Advisory Steering Committee. Neither was appointed. As there are several evidence based practices developed to assist people with serious mental illness and much of the validation work on these has been done by psychologists, the TF hopes to highlight the potential for practicing psychologists to increase their work in this area.

6. The TF continues to work on a project designed to encourage greater attention to mental health issues in the criminal justice system. TF members are working with APA staff from BPA, BAPPI, and the General Counsel’s office on this initiative.

7. The TF continued its work to promote the Proficiency on the Assessment and Treatment of Serious Mental Illness and to develop curriculum models, evaluation mechanisms, continuing education requirements, and a certification system for the Proficiency.

8. The TF continued its work to update the Catalogue of Clinical Training Opportunities: Best Practices for Recovery and Improved Outcomes for People with Serious Mental Illness.

9. The TF continued its work to promote the Resolution on Recovery, passed in 2009 by the APA Council of Representatives.

10. The TF started a new initiative designed to provide materials for Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) to help them educate high school students about serious mental illnesses and severe emotional disturbances.

11. The TF helped organize and create a new section within Division 18 for psychologists specifically interested in working with people with serious mental illnesses/severe emotional disturbances. The TF hopes that, in part, this may make more resources available for the proficiency.

B. Future Directions and Initiatives

1. The TF plans to continue its tradition of presenting a CE approved symposium at the 2012 APA Convention.

2. Based on the outstanding evaluation received for the 2011 CE workshop, the TF plans to submit a proposal for a full day CE workshop on evidence based practices for the APA 2012 Convention.

3. The TF plans to develop a proposal for a conversation hour or panel discussion for the 2012 APA Convention on how the movement towards integrated health care may affect the future of practice in serious mental illness/severe emotional disturbance

4. The TF plans to continue development of curriculum models, evaluation mechanisms, continuing education requirements, and a certification system for the Proficiency on Assessment and Treatment of Serious Mental Illness. A plan to market and promote the Proficiency is also under development.

5. The TF plans to continue developing educational materials for use by TOPSS as well as potentially for use in broader public education efforts.

6. In an effort to increase psychologists’ awareness of the relevance and importance of psychological input in the treatment of individuals with serious mental illnesses, the TF plans to continue to nominate psychologists who are knowledgeable about these issues to APA Boards and Committees.

7. The TF plans to continue its work with BPA, BAPPI, and General Counsel staff to encourage greater attention to mental health issues in the criminal justice system.

8. The TF plans to continue to work with CAPP and BPA on initiatives that intersect professional psychology and serious mental illness, such as Medicare and other legislative priorities, state hospital and forensic institutions, and the issues relevant for psychology in these settings, etc.

9. The TF will continue its efforts to increase the visibility of serious mental illness by promoting the Resolution on Recovery, and by continuing to comment on relevant policy documents, working more closely with other Boards and Committees, and continuing to publish scholarly articles.

C. TF Work and Accomplishments Prior to 2010

1. With support from CAPP, the TF has sponsored a Convention symposium every year since 2005. The symposium has been approved for CE credit each year and continues to be very well attended. In addition, at the request of the Ethics Committee, the TF co-sponsored a second CE approved symposium at the 2010 Convention on the law and serious mental illness.

2. 4. The TF was successful in having a TF member appointed to the Advisory Steering Committee of the APA Recovery to Practice initiative.

2. The TF developed the Petition for the Renewal of the Proficiency on the Assessment and Treatment of Serious Mental Illness. The petition was submitted to CRSPPP, under the sponsorship of Division 18. The APA Council of Representatives approved the renewal of the Proficiency at its Convention meeting held Wednesday, August 5, 2009.

3. The TF developed a Resolution on Recovery for those with serious mental illness and the Resolution was endorsed by CAPP and submitted to the Board of Directors for consideration, and then forwarded to the Council of Representatives. The Resolution on Recovery was approved by Council at its Convention meeting held Wednesday, August 5, 2009.

4. The TF developed the Catalogue of Clinical Training Opportunities: Best Practices for Recoveryand Improved Outcomes for People with Serious Mental Illness. The Catalogue is a comprehensive listing of evidence based practices, best practices, training information and literature which is linked on the APA website. The TF continually updates the document, adding new information and deleting information that is out of date. The Catalogue is widely accessed and has been cited in two review articles.

5. The TF developed, and with CAPP support circulated, a survey of Clinical Training Directors to determine the extent to which graduate students have opportunities to learn about and work with, individuals with serious mental illness. As a result of the survey, a series of papers was initiated as noted below.

6. The TF initiated a series of scholarly articles. These are as follows:

  • Silverstein, S. M. and Bellack, A. S. (2008). A scientific agenda for the concept of recovery as it applies to schizophrenia. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 7, 1108 – 1124.
  • Reddy, F., Spaulding, W., Jansen, M., Menditto, A., and Pickett, S. (2010). Psychologists’ roles and opportunities in rehabilitation and recovery for serious mental illness: A survey of training and doctoral education. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 4, 4.
  • Lysaker, P. H., Glynn, S. M., Wilkniss, S. M., and Silverstein, S. M. (2010). Psychotherapy and recovery from schizophrenia: A review of potential applications and need for future study. Psychological Services, 7, 2, 75 - 91.
  • Silverstein, S. M. and Lysaker, P. H. (2009). Progress Toward a Resurgence and Remodeling of Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia: Editors’ Introduction to Special Issue of Clinical Case Studies. Clinical Case Studies, 8 (special journal issue).

7. The TF endorsed a survey on the functions of psychologists in state hospitals. An article on the results of this study has been submitted to Psychological Services.

8. The TF nominated and was successful in having one of its members appointed, to a two year term on APA’s Committee on Socioeconomic Status.

9. The TF sent a letter to the Nebraska Governor and State representatives in response to the announced closure of the Nebraska Community Transition Program. The program was one of the few programs in the country that treated those with serious mental illness from a rehabilitation and recovery perspective. The program was also important as it served as one of the few comprehensive training sites in psychosocial rehabilitation for clinical psychology students and mental health trainees of other disciplines. The program was closed but partly as a result of the TF’s action, State legislators conducted an interim study to determine how to provide evidence based practices provide in the State.

10. The TF has worked with CAPP and the Practice Directorate on several important items related to psychologists’ roles and functions in state hospitals, forensic institutions, and the status of psychologists in various pieces of Federal legislation, including the definition of physician in the Medicare statute.

11. The TF submitted comments on two important APA policy documents. These are a) the Model Licensure Act, and, b) the Guidelines for Assessment of, and Intervention with, Individuals Who Have Disabilities.