Top 10 Goals for Psychiatry in 2014

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American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, outlined past accomplishments and set goals for the future at the APA 2014 Meeting. His top 10 "To-Do" list is as follows:

  1. Improve public perception of mental illness and psychiatry by better educating the public and the media about psychiatry's role in the U.S. health care system
  2. "Rejoin the family of medicine" through increasing use of science-based methods to diagnose and treat patients with mental disorders
  3. Amplify the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) voice and presence in the political arena to foster favorable  legislation and policies. "Simply put, to win the game we must be in the game," Lieberman said.
  4. Advocate for more funding for psychiatry-based biomedical research through increased collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and National Institutes on Drug Abuse. Lieberman pointed out trials underway to promote smoking cessation in the mentally ill, and a longitudinal cohort study of the effects of marijuana on the brains of young people. "Mental illness is right in the sweet spot of the Human Brain Initiative that President Obama announced this year, which will support the development of powerful new forms of neurotechnology," he added.
  5. Make the DSM-V a "living instrument" via the DSM Steering Committee, which will "iteratively revise DSM-5 following nosologically significant scientific breakthroughs rather than at decades-long intervals."
  6. Properly implement key mental health components of the Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity Act through closer partnerships with allied health care organizations and stakeholder groups.
  7. Revise and update psychiatry training programs to better prepare future generations of psychiatrists via collaboration between the APA, American Association for Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
  8. Better integrate psychiatry and mental health services in primary care. "Our government, health care policy makers and providers, and nonpsychiatric medical colleagues will finally understand that there is no health without mental health," Lieberman said.
  9. More effectively represent the interests of psychiatry and the mentally ill via strong leadership at the APA.
  10. Dispel historical stigma associated with psychiatry and mental health. "[P]sychiatry has reached a point in its evolution where it can break free of the ignorance, mystery, and stigma with which it has been historically associated. And the APA must lead the way," Lieberman said.



Our Future is Now
Our Future is Now

Dr. Lieberman, 140th President of the American Psychiatric Association, is Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Director, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Psychiatrist-in-Chief, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center.

He presented this information as part of the Presidential Address at the 168th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in New York City on May 3, 2014.

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