COVID-19 has revealed many new psychological needs, but of particular concern are those related to groups that are underserved, including essential workers, older adults, refugees, and members of ethnic minority communities.
To help, a group of APA divisions launched the APA Interdivisional Task Force on the Pandemic in April. The aim of its 10 related work groups, which convene regularly on Google Meet, is to gather supportive resources—studies, references, instruments, and more—to help clinicians better serve a range of individuals and communities during this time.
“Our mission is to pull together resources for populations that are typically ignored, so that any mental health provider or other relevant user can take those products and use them to provide direct services,” says task force chair and Tulane University professor Charles R. Figley, PhD, who directs Tulane’s Traumatology Institute.
Arlene “Lu” Steinberg, PhD, a New York-based clinical psychologist and founding member of the task force, says it’s been gratifying to work with colleagues across specialty lines on a project for the common good.
“[APA] Divisions tend to be silo’ed, and that means we sometimes work at odds or even in competition with each other,” she says. “This experience has been different—it’s been about how we can bring our resources, strengths, and expertise to work together.”
Here is a taste of what the groups are doing and information on how you can get involved: