The American Psychological Association’s CEO was among about 20 mental health experts to meet in early January with top Obama cabinet members to discuss violence prevention in the wake of the school killings in Newtown, Conn.
Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D., said that during his meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius there was agreement about the need to improve all aspects of mental health services for both children and adults. He added that there was agreement about the need to reduce stigma and educate the public about mental health treatment and to make parity a reality.
During the meeting, Anderson said one of the most important things the president could do is use his last term in office to bring mental illness out of the shadows and make it his priority to change the national dialogue about mental illness.
He added that mental health care should not be “optional” in any health plan and psychologists and other behavioral health professionals must be part of all health care teams.