Morgan T. Sammons, PhD, ABPP

Next week our American Registrants celebrate Thanksgiving—our truly national holiday.  Since 1938, we have celebrated Thanksgiving in close proximity to Veteran’s Day on November 11 (formerly named Armistice Day to commemorate the end of the bloody First World War).  We are therefore reminded to take a moment to give thanks to our veterans, their families, and those psychologists who provide much valued care to those who sacrifice to serve our country.

Last Friday night’s evil massacres in Paris remind us of the price of liberty and the risks we implicitly but willingly assume by living in open, democratic societies.  Let us then give thanks to those who continue to protect our liberty, those who care for first responders and victims, and those who work to bring to justice the perpetrators of such horrors.  Let us simultaneously give thanks to those psychologists—researchers, clinicians and advocates alike—who strive for international peace, reconciliation, and the avoidance of conflict.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, much of the content of this month’s e-newsletter is dedicated to resources for veterans and their families.  I had the recent pleasure  of speaking at a meeting of the Military Family Research Institute, where the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, reminded us of the continued need for service provision to military families in the “long war” we are still engaged in. Vital programs such as Give-an Hour and San Diego psychologist Jon Nachison’s Stand Down are excellent examples of how applied psychological science can materially aid veterans and their families.

November is also Native American Heritage Month, a time not only to celebrate the richness of Native American culture but for renewed dedication to addressing the pernicious mental health issues that Native American communities face at rates far higher than in the general population.   American Indian youth are particularly vulnerable to problems of substance abuse and have a tragically high suicide rate. In this month’s newsletter, you will find a link to a report that assesses the mental health challenges these youth encounter.

The National Register recently exhibited at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.  It was a well-attended meeting and it was heartening to see the large number of enthusiastic graduate students and early career psychologists there.  A number of these attendees came to our booth to express gratitude for being selected as a National Register Credentialing Scholarship recipient.  It is extremely gratifying to see how much they value this scholarship, and I accordingly give thanks to all our Registrants and other donors whose contributions make this scholarship program possible.  Some of these same donors have extended their generosity by contributing to the Internship Partnership Fund, which is described more fully in this newsletter.  I hope that you too will be motivated to assist us in reaching our goals in order to allow the Register to play a central role in expanding needed accredited internship slots.

In closing, I give thanks to all of you for dedicating your careers to helping others, for your continued and often long-time allegiance to the National Register, and for giving me the opportunity to work with you. I also give a final note of thanks to the National Register’s volunteer Board of Directors, and our incredible staff here in Washington, DC.

Happy Thanksgiving!!