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From The Blog

From the Executive Officer’s Desk—Overcoming the “DSM Fallacy”: Is It Time to Start Crowdsourcing Mental Health Treatments?

It is the nature of scientific inquiry to seek greater specificity in understanding natural phenomena, and our clinical research colleagues strive valiantly to do so. But the scientific method can lead us astray in that it demands a focus on problems, not patients. In this column, I analyze our lack of success in ameliorating the global burden of mental distress and suggest that crowdsourcing, a strategy enabled by widespread electronic communications, might provide a solution towards making effective interventions more widely available.

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Call for Nominations: The Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology

For the 2018-22 term, to further its mission and effectively address priorities, CDIP is seeking nominees with lived experience of disability culture, knowledge of the principles and implementation of Universal Design, commitment to disability inclusion within psychology and among various sectors of society, knowledge of human rights and law, and/or firsthand experience in APA governance, including at the state, regional, divisional or national level.

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From the Executive Officer’s Desk: There’s Gold In Them There Pills—Or Is There?

A recently published database tracking pharmaceutical company donations to not-for-profit associations provides data indicating that industry funding provides significant revenue to patient advocacy groups. Other data suggest that this funding might be intended to create informal lobbying groups that can act on behalf of drug manufacturers. While drug company promotional activities are not newsworthy, the absence of mental health associations from the list of funded groups raises questions about the influence of mental health advocacy.

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From the Executive Officer’s Desk—So Let’s Talk About Guidelines…

APA’s Council of Representatives has recently approved a Clinical Practice Guideline for the treatment of PTSD. Arguments for and against the use of clinical practice guidelines have been extensively—even ferociously—debated in psychology. Some point to accrued evidence supporting the use of specific therapies, others fear a devolution to prescriptive, mechanized treatments. Whether pro or con, discussions of guidelines must take into consideration the fact that regardless of the modality employed, effect sizes for mental health interventions are not terribly convincing to begin with. In this column, I’ll examine the new guideline and some of the assumptions underlying it.

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MHLG Letter to Veterans Affairs

National Register signed the Mental Health Liaison Group’s letter to Veterans Affairs requesting more information on their next steps for implementing the recommendations made from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) new report.

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