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Mental and behavioral health

Raising awareness of APA advocacy priorities as Senate Finance Committee constructs new mental health legislation

APA Services sends a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee in response to a request from committee leadership for solutions to include in a future package of mental health legislation.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, September 1). Raising awareness of APA advocacy priorities as Senate Finance Committee constructs new mental health legislation. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/senate-finance-committee-mental-health

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR)

On August 5, 2021, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) sent a joint letter to committee members requesting suggestions on legislation to include in a future package of mental health-related proposals originating from the committee (PDF, 133KB)

The letter specifically requests input in the following areas: 

  • addressing the shortage of mental health professionals;
  • supporting mental health care integration efforts and extending access to “historically underserved communities”;
  • improving oversight and enforcement of federal parity law; and
  • expanding access to services furnished via telehealth.

On August 30, APA sent its recommendations to every member of the committee—including Chairman Wyden—with suggestions on what each member can include in their own response (PDF, 410KB). The letter identifies many of APA’s legislative priorities across the discipline and practice of psychology. APA’s response also identified legislative solutions to help achieve health equity and combat a resurgent substance use crisis. As the committee plans to issue a separate request for stakeholder input in the coming weeks, APA plans to issue a follow up response and conduct outreach to key committee offices and staff.

For more information, contact Andrew Strickland, JD, or Scott Barstow, MS.