The PLTC Diversion, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DE&I) announces action on the part of APA CEO Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr. in August to call for comprehensive policy changes to end the pandemic of racism in the United States.
Joined by American Psychiatric Association CEO Dr. Saul Levin and National Association of Social Workers CEO Dr. Angelo McClain, the national leaders in mental health published an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel that addressed the systemic racism that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black Americans over the past year. They also expressed concern regarding the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color and commit to increase action within their respective organizations to address racial disparities in the United States, including the recruitment of more people of color in the mental health profession.
Additionally, they emphasize that the ending of systemic racism is a public health priority that requires immediate action on the part of policymakers. Among the policy changes they call for are:
- Increased access to healthcare for people of color, who face disproportionate barriers to access and quality of care;
- Improved access to and elimination of restrictions on telehealth;
- Police and law enforcement reform that includes training in de-escalation techniques, banning of the use of chokeholds, and elimination of racial and religious profiling;
- Passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (R.7120/S.3912), a bill with wide-ranging measures proposed to increase law enforcement accountability;
- Passing the bipartisan Crisis Care Improvement and Suicide Prevention Act (R.7159) to authorize increased funds for the provision of mental health crisis services; and
- Response to mental health crises with trained mental health professionals rather than armed police.
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From time to time, communications on behalf of the DE&I Committee may include information from other organizations or advocacy groups in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. We believe this information can help spark discussions, further the exchange of ideas and best practices, and ultimately help further PLTC’s purpose, among other goals, to provide advocacy on ethical, regulatory, organizational, and public policy issues which impact individuals and professionals in long-term care. It is not intended to support or oppose any partisan political views, beliefs, or ideology.
Katherine Lou, PsyD (she/her/hers)
(re. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist