Arthur C. Evans, Jr., PhD, chief executive officer of APA Services, Inc., reached out to Denis R. McDonough, the newly confirmed secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), congratulating him on his confirmation to lead one of the largest federal agencies.

In the letter (PDF, 101KB), Evans said: “Your commitment to improving access to mental health care for our nation’s veterans was clear in your testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Your stated priorities—ensuring mental health care is part of comprehensive care, reducing stigma, and increasing access to mental health care—align closely with those of APA.”

VA is one of the largest trainers and employers of psychologists in the country, hosting 25% of APA-accredited predoctoral internships and more than 50% of APA-accredited postdoctoral fellowships. VA also supports a robust psychological science research portfolio touching on a wide range of issues including Clinical Science, Health Services Research, and Rehabilitation Research.

In his letter, Evans pushed for improving recruitment and retention of psychologists, allowing psychologists to practice to the full scope of their license, and requiring quality standards and military cultural competency training for non-VA community care providers. One of the most critical trainings offered to non-VA community care providers is suicide prevention and lethal means safety training. APA has worked closely with the PREVENTS Task Force to create suicide screening and intervention webinars for clinicians to better understand how to identify and care for individuals experiencing suicidal ideation.

For more information, contact Sophie Friedl.