The Department of Government Relations, as part of the greater Division of Advocacy, works to ensure that APA delivers a consistent and focused message to policymakers, the media and the public. Staff within the Department of Government Relations continually work to shape federal and state legislation and regulations of concern to psychiatry and patients.
For more information regarding the Department of Government Relations, feel free to contact us by phone at (703) 907-7800, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington, DGR advises Congress, the White House, and federal agencies on the APA’s positions and priorities; facilitates communication between psychiatrists and their legislators; and works with the APA Political Action Committee (APAPAC) in its support of federal candidates who will best represent psychiatry’s interests
CAPITOL HILL POLICY AND LEGISLATION
Policy and legislation developing in Congress is actively engaged by the Department of Government Relations. DGR conveys the concerns and facts on issues affecting the field of psychiatry to elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Along with legislation impacting psychiatry and mental health on Capitol Hill, the APA tracks and lobbies policy that is formed by the executive branch in the administration of federal agencies. Relevant agencies include the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Defense, the Social Security Administration, and others. These agencies are governed first by law and second by regulation which, when relevant to psychiatric practice, is commented on by the APA and the comments submitted for agency consideration.
Federal Update Newsletter: RUSHNOTES
Every week the Department of Government Relations publishes an advocacy newsletter called RushNotes, which gives members a short, weekly wrap-up about what’s happening in Congress.
To view past editions of RushNotes or to sign up to receive our newsletters, please click here.
View our latest edition of RushNotes!
Around the country, the American Psychiatric Association's department of government relations provides assistance to District Branch and State Societies/Associations on state legislative and regulatory topics. This includes tracking health care legislation; serving as a clearinghouse for best lobbying practices and model legislation; and providing on-site strategic assistance and grassroots training.
APA Members and District Branch/State Associations can view legislation introduced in their state, print the bills, and get the most up-to-date bill status.
Click on the State-By-State Map link to review bills in your state, or any other state. If you are interested in following an issue across the country (e.g., Children’s Mental Health, Civil Commitment, etc.) click on All Legislative Issues where you can track any of the 38 issues we follow.
The APA Non-Physician Scope of Practice Information Center is available for APA members and District Branches/State Associations interested in strategies and resources needed to confront state legislative efforts by psychologists to gain prescribing privileges.
The Department of Government Relations also publishes the State Update Newsletter. The State Update Newsletter is produced bi-monthly by the APA’s State Affairs office. The newsletter highlights state legislation addressing mental health issues, state legislative races, the APA Department of Government Relations advocacy initiatives, and the work of APA’s District Branches/State Associations. Featured on page one in each issue, the “District Branch/State Association Spotlight” emphasizes pilot projects and activities organized by District Branches/State Associations. The spotlight also features the work of the State Affairs Outreach Program, which provides grassroots advocacy training to APA members and residents to teach them how to get involved in the legislative, regulatory, and political processes and how to lobby their representatives.
For more information on how DGR can provide support for your District Branch or State Association, feel free to email Lisa Fields at email@example.com.
Improving Access to Mental Health Treatment
Access to care remains a top priority for the APA. In this section, view articles, legislation, and programs deticated to improving access to mental health treatment.