California Psychological Association Lobby Day
On March 14, 2017 CPA held their annual Lobby Day. This is a day that psychologists and graduate students from around the state storm the Capitol to discuss specific issues with senators and assembly members. I had the honor of representing Ventura County on behalf of the Ventura County Psychological Association. Some of the topics we discussed with each AssemblyMember, Senator or Staffer includes:
Introduction to CPA and the work of a psychologist
Education regarding the differences between different mental health practitioners, ex: psychologist versus psychiatrist.
Education regarding the specific specialties and training of a psychologist.
Opposition of AB89 (Levine) Psychologists: suicide prevention training
This bill would take effect January 1, 2020 and require all applicants for licensure as a psychologist with the Board of Psychology to complete a minimum of six hours of coursework and/or applied experience in suicide risk assessment and intervention. This requirement could be met by providing proof that this training was offered in the graduate training programs or taken as a course. All renewing licenses must meet a one-time requirement of six hours of coursework and/or applied experience in suicide risk assessment and intervention. This could also be met by proving that training was received in graduate school or by taking a course.
CPA is opposed to this bill for many reasons, and a few are listed below. For further information please feel free to contact me.
This bill targets ONLY psychologists, even though we are the most extensively trained behavioral health professionals.
A similar bill was opposed by the Board in 2015 and vetoed by the Governor. After the veto, the Board conducted a survey to determine the level of training for suicide risk and assessment by asking training institutions to participate in the survey to see if they were preparing students for work in the field. Assessment of suicide risk and training in intervention were reported to be included in instruction and supervised experience by over 95% of the training programs.
This measure does nothing to address the real problems related to the crisis of suicide---access to services.
Support of SB374 (Newman) Mental Health Parity Protections
This bill requires individual and group health insurance policies under regulation by the Department of Insurance to comply with Federal Mental Health Parity Laws.
Guide to Dealing with Distressed Constituents
The CPA has developed a booklet and training program designed to help legislators and staff to communicate with various types of constituents.
For more information about current bills, or how to locate your specific legislator please feel free to contact me.
For a template to email or send to your CA legislator about the above stated bills please contact me through email.
Dr. Anna K. Colangelo
Ventura County Psychological Association