The American Psychological Association’s (APA) strategic priorities are rooted in equity, diversity, and inclusion. In keeping with these strategic priorities, the APA’s advocacy priorities encompass the guiding principles of non-discrimination, health equity for underserved and vulnerable populations, and health promotion across the lifespan and settings. Keeping the guiding principles at the forefront of advocacy for psychology ensures the greatest impact on the many challenges facing society.

Priorities unique to APA

Access to health services, including mental and behavioral health services

Ensure access for evidence-based health and behavioral health services within public and private healthcare delivery systems. Expand the role of psychologists on interprofessional, integrated teams.

Issues that advance this priority include: Affordable Health Care; Children, Youth, and Families; Immigration; Medicare Reimbursement and Access; Mental Health Parity; Military and Veterans; Race, Ethnicity, and Religion; Telehealth

Funding for basic and applied psychological research

Advocate for increased funding for basic, clinical and applied psychological research within key agencies, foundations, and funding sources (e.g., NIH, NSF, CDC, VA, DoD, Ed, EPA). Expand opportunities for application in public and private sectors.

Issues that advance this priority include: Climate Change; Federal Funding for Scientific Research; Future of Work; Military and Veterans

General applied psychology promotion

Educate APA membership and advocate across key private sector stakeholders regarding the various contributions of psychology and roles of psychologists in areas such as human performance, motivation, leadership and personnel assessment, conflict resolution, and civic engagement.

Issues that advance this priority include: General Applied Psychology; Pre-K to 12 Education

Psychology education and training financing

Improve access to graduate study for psychology, including student financial aid programs, loan repayment, and loan forgiveness programs.

Issues that advance this priority include: Higher Education

Psychology workforce development

Improve training and leadership skills of next generation of culturally competent, diverse psychologists, engage students, and secure federal funding for psychology workforce training programs, including accredited internships, and post-doctoral fellowships that expand interprofessional training opportunities working with underserved populations. Increase opportunities for basic and applied psychology trainees.

Issues that advance this priority include: Workforce Development

Reimbursement and scope of practice

Ensure equitable reimbursement for the full range of psychologists’ services, including psychotherapy, health and behavior, testing, and telehealth services. Promote psychologists in federal health programs, such as ensuring psychologists provide Medicare services to the full scope of their licensure and supporting VA recruitment and retention of psychologists. Leverage federal with state efforts promoting licensure and credentialing and fighting encroachment from other providers.

Issues that advance this priority include: Affordable Health Care; Medicare Reimbursement and Access; Mental Health Parity; Telehealth

Priorities where APA makes a significant contribution

Application of psychological science to Pre-K, K-12, and higher education

Ameliorate education disparities from pre-K through higher education, including universal pre-K and supporting social and emotional learning programs, psychology as a STEM discipline, and APA high school psychology curricula standards.

Issues that advance this priority include: Higher Education; Pre-K to 12 Education; Workforce Development

Criminal justice

Use psychological research to advance criminal justice reform, police-community relations, and to address the disparate impact of mass incarceration on minority and low-income communities.

Issues that advance this priority include: Children, Youth, and Families; Criminal Justice and Policing

Future of work

Advance the role of applied psychology in preparing society and the workforce to manage significant impacts from emerging changes in demographic trends, technological innovation and global competition.

Issues that advance this priority include: Future of Work

Health equity for underserved and vulnerable populations

Promote health equity for diverse populations by reducing disparities in health attributed to race, ethnicity, sexual and gender identity and orientation, geography, disability, age, socioeconomic status and poverty, and underserved and vulnerable populations, including tribal communities, children, immigrants, veterans, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Issues that advance this priority include: Affordable Health Care; Climate Change; Health Equity; Immigration; Military and Veterans; Substance Use Disorders; Telehealth

Health promotion and prevention throughout lifespan and settings

Support the wellbeing and healthy development of children and adults, including access to developmentally appropriate mental health services and population-based prevention and health promotion programs across the lifespan and settings.

Issues that advance this priority include: Climate Change; Health Equity

Science infrastructure and regulatory environment

Promote ethical, non-human animal and peer-reviewed psychological and interdisciplinary research.

Issues that advance this priority include: Criminal Justice and Policing; Federal Funding for Scientific Research

Substance use disorders and opioid and other drug epidemics

Advocate for policies and increase opportunities that promote the role of psychology and psychologists in the prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders, including non-pharmacological interventions for pain management.

Issues that advance this priority include: Federal Funding for Scientific Research; Mental Health Parity; Substance Use Disorders

Violence and suicide prevention

Utilize psychological research to reduce suicide and interpersonal violence, including gun violence. Increase school safety and educate the public, policymakers, and law enforcement about non-violent conflict resolution, impact of trauma exposure, and the need for trauma-informed interventions.

Issues that advance this priority include: Children, Youth, and Families; Federal Funding for Scientific Research; Military and Veterans; Race, Ethnicity, and Religion

Priorities in collaboration with coalitions and partner organizations

Climate change

Educate the public and apply psychological research to combat climate change and address its impacts.

Issues that advance this priority include: Climate Change

Discrimination

Combat discrimination in all forms and settings, including education, healthcare, and workplace. Oppose efforts to curtail rights of women, sexual and gender minorities, individuals with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and other marginalized populations.

Issues that advance this priority include: Federal Funding for Scientific Research; Health Equity; Race, Ethnicity, and Religion; Substance Use Disorders

Immigration

Continue advocacy around federal immigration policies, and inform policies related to humane treatment of immigrants and refugees.

Issues that advance this priority include: Children, Youth, and Families; Immigration; Race, Ethnicity, and Religion

Protect and strengthen safety net programs

Protect and strengthen safety net programs, such as Medicaid, CHIP, child-care, family leave, nutritional assistance, economic stability, and housing programs.

Issues that advance this priority include: Affordable Health Care; Children, Youth, and Families; Health Equity; Medicare Reimbursement and Access; Mental Health Parity; Substance Use Disorders

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