The following message is is an excerpt from a letter CPA sent to Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Dear Senator Blumenthal,
I am honored to inform you that you have been selected for Connecticut Psychological Association’s 2018 Distinguished Legislator Award for your steadfast commitment to protecting people’s rights. We salute your advocacy work around mental health parity, access to care, elder protection and abuse prevention, common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, and funding for intervention programs that address the opioid epidemic. In all, we recognize your unwavering public support for laws and services that promote human welfare.
We would also like to acknowledge your vocal support of our colleague and sexual assault survivor, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and for all victims of sexual violence. In stating your belief in the veracity of her account of her sexual assault, you have communicated to all victims of sexual abuse that their experiences matter and that they, as human beings, matter.
As you are aware, further psychological damage from sexual violence occurs when victims are ignored, blamed and shamed when speaking up about their abuse. Women and men who have been victimized often avoid reporting their experience to law enforcement or even family members and friends, for fear of a negative reaction. Instead, you modeled a positive response to Dr. Blasey Ford’s story with words of acknowledgement, concern, and support. Your voice has given hope and strength for victims to continue to seek acknowledgement and repair. As psychologists who provide resources and treatment to sexual abuse victims, we applaud your efforts to elevate public awareness and support survivors.
Anne Klee, Ph.D.
The recent US policy to separate immigrant children from their parents has been especially alarming to psychologists who understand the science of stress on children and families. In the weeks following the policy to separate families, over 2,300 children were separated from their parents. CPA is concerned about family separation and the serious short and long-term negative health impacts it can have on both children and adults. Several letters from organizations have been sent around in response to the US policy to separate children from their parents at the borders.
The CPA Board voted to co-sign two circulating letters. CPA has signed on to a letter spearheaded by Physicians for Human Rights that was sent to every member of Congress. We also co-signed a second letter, written and organized by Child's World America, that has been signed by a number of mental health organizations. A few CPA members have reached out with ideas for us to be more involved on this matter through advocacy and education. If you would like to be involved, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news, June has been a busy month for CPA. On Friday, June 8th many of us attended the daylong training on measurement-based care taught by Drs. Barbara Ward Zimmerman and Jason DeViva. Their presentation was very informative and practical including free tools to use in practice settings and codes to bill insurance for administration of measures. We are grateful to them for sharing their knowledge and expertise. On Thursday, June 14th, CPA hosted a showing of the documentary That Way Madness Lies followed by a panel led by Yale film professor and the filmmaker Sandra Luckow and public mental health experts Drs. Tracey Sondik and Tom Styron. The film was very well-done and quite thought-provoking. The discussion after the film was rich with information. Drs. Sondik and Stryon did an excellent job debunking myths about schizophrenia and imparted important stories demonstrating that recovery is possible. We are grateful to all three for their time and knowledge shared as well as their dedication to improving the lives of individuals with serious mental illnesses. As I write this article, a number of us are looking forward to the CPA social event on June 28th at Ordinary in New Haven hosted by Dr. Stephanie Pennington, Region 3 Rep. I hope I see many of you there!