Fall 2018 Issue
By Meredith Lee, DO, FAPA
Meredith Lee, DO, FAPA
Greetings to the Psychiatric Society of Virginia. I want to welcome the fall edition of the newsletter with some thoughts on advocacy. I had the privilege of attending the APA's State Advocacy conference in Deer Valley, Utah on August 3-5. I attended this meeting to learn how to develop a louder voice to advocate not only for my patients, but also for our profession. As an introvert who has been previously terrified of public speaking, I felt that attending this conference would provide some tools to better allow me to speak with legislators, lobbyists and other collaborators. One of the more important things I learned is that it doesn't matter how loud your voice is, but how persistent you are. The APA recommends that you meet with legislators as much as possible so that they know who you are and can count on you as an expert in psychiatry. If they know who you are, they are more likely to consult with you on legislation affecting mental healthcare.
My most important message, though, is that everyone must be an advocate for our profession. We are busy professionals with full schedules and other responsibilities outside of work; however, we can't rely on leaving this job to someone else. If we become complacent, psychologists may end up with prescribing rights in Virginia as happened in New Mexico and Louisiana. We saw that nurse practitioners gained autonomous practice rights here in Virginia this past year. We need to continue to convey the message that psychiatrists can reach more individuals through collaborative care models and telemedicine to provide quality care by well trained psychiatrists. This message may help prevent further legislation allowing less supervision and more autonomy for lesser-trained providers.
Here are some overall recommendations for improving our advocacy efforts as a state district branch:
As a reminder, the PSV's Fall Meeting will be held in Staunton, Virginia on September 28-29. The meeting's theme is "Fighting Stigma in Mental Healthcare" and we have a wonderful group of speakers lined up to discus various topics regarding stigma in substance use disorders, ageism, global mental health, the mental health parity law, providing compassionate and informed care to transgender individuals and the public's perception of mental illness. Please find more information about this meeting here.
Thank you for your continued membership and involvement in the Psychiatric Society of Virginia. I look forward to seeing you at the Fall Meeting.
September 28-29, 2018
Stonewall Jackson Hotel
Are you accepting new patients?
Opt into APA’s “Find A Psychiatrist” database. To view the functionality or opt-in, CLICK HERE
FYI: A link for this option has been added to the PSV website. Select the “About” button and then “Find a Psychiatrist” from the drop down.