WSPA Newsletter Volume 77, Issue 2.1 | August 2021
As we enter the last weeks of the dog days of summer (July 3rd through August 11th) it is time to provide our members an update on things the office staff and committees have been working on. We have a lot of content to report on, so this newsletter (Vol 77, Issue 2.1) will be split into 2 or 3 segments over the next weeks for easier and quicker reading. If you only read this intro with thoughts of reading the rest later or miss the other newsletters, you can read them online from our newsletter and news article archive.
To access the archive from the home page, scroll below the navigation buttons to find the icon above.
Northwest Psychological Fall Convention
October 15-17, 2021
We are excited to announce that Alaska Psychological Association (AK-PA) has joined our annual Fall Convention and it is being rebranded as the Northwest Psychological Fall Convention. The collaboration of both state psychological associations was made possible primarily because they share the same executive director and staff. Last year, WSPA featured a CBT Multicultural Practice workshop by Alaska psychologist Dr. Pamela Hays after she had presented a shorter 1.5CE version of the same workshop a month earlier for Alaska. A second opportunity to feature a workshop from Alaska presented itself this Spring when AK-PA received a sponsorship from their Department of Health to promote Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) training and WSPA’s Convention Committee had interest in presenting a similar training on the topic, so combining associations made a lot of sense. This year, Alaska will be responsible for the approval of that workshop and inviting their membership to attend the convention. With two state associations participating, the convention will be virtual again with a hybrid convention for WSPA considered for 2022.
“Psychological Perspectives in an Era of Healing and Recovery” was chosen as the convention theme as a nod to healing and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The convention will also allow WSPA and AK-PA members to attend workshops Free with no CE. Should a member from either association decide they want the CE credits afterward attending, they can pay for that workshop and complete a workshop evaluation form. A keynote speaker will be announced once details are finalized, and the Early Career Committee will hold its annual celebration for Newly Licensed Psychologists (NLP) on Friday Oct. 15th. The celebration is followed with a 1 CE Ethics workshop and NLPs from Alaska will also be invited to attend.
Networking rooms by topic will be available on Friday and Saturday after a short lunch to allow for personal conversations and making new friends.
Besides the FASD topic mentioned above, 3CE workshops are being scheduled on CBT Insomnia, Cultural Humility, Forensics, Trauma, Transgender, and a few other topics are still being worked out. There will also be Ethics (6CE), and DOH approved Suicide ATM training (6CE). The current basic Suicide training will fulfill licensure requirements until the advanced training criteria has been determined by the Dept of Health.
The convention landing page will be published soon, so please save these October dates.
Good Trouble Summer Recap
Hi fellow psychologists and WSPA members!
The Good Trouble Committee has been causing good trouble in a variety of ways this year, and we hope to continue doing so with even more involvement from you as our colleagues. You may have noticed our activity in a variety of ways:
Many committee members collaborated with the WSPA board and the ad hoc Transgender Advocacy Task Force to create position statements on the racial inequity in the EPPP, the Capitol violence on January 6th, 2021, violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and anti-transgender legislation. Dr. Andy Benjamin ensured that these position statements were published on the APA Division 31 listserv and have served as models for other State, Provincial, and Territorial Associations (SPTAs). They are also posted at the webpage for SPTAs’ Stands Against Racism and Discrimination.
We’ve issued statements and resources for a variety of important areas for recognition: Black History Month, Transgender Day of Visibility, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Immigrant Heritage Month, Pride, and Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. We’ve received and continue to be open to feedback about these statements and resources (including a recent survey you may have graciously taken the time to complete), and would welcome your assistance regarding how WSPA can acknowledge and uplift diverse voices and experiences.
Dr. Matt Goldenberg and Dr. Lynda Kasky Hernández led another amazing six sessions of the open-to-all Good Trouble Study Group before taking a late-summer hiatus. These study groups include a wide range of academic and mainstream media sources, and always resulted in learning and productive discussion. These sessions may continue in the future based on member interest.
Dr. Lynda Kasky Hernández, Dr. Megan Wagoner, & Dr. Misha Whitfield are creating a CE for our 2021 Fall Convention which will model best practices for care of racially diverse clients. Please consider signing up for this much needed workshop!
Dr. Phoukham Bounkeua and Dr. Kiran Neelarambam attended APA’s Practice Leadership Conference as our diversity delegates, participating in general advocacy and sharing with other state organizations about best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We continue to collaborate with other mental health professionals, often by having them attend our meetings to cross-pollinate ideas; in 2021, this included Makinie Soverall, LMFT, who founded Deconstructing the Mental Health System.
You will continue to hear from us in 2021 and beyond, but really, we hope you join us! There’s information here on how to join the Good Trouble listserv for meeting alerts and other awesome opportunities. Participation can look many different ways, and we welcome you at any level that you would like to engage. In the words of John Lewis: “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”
The Good Trouble Committee
A Call to Re-engage The World
As we emerge, haltingly, from this pandemic I know that you all join me in feelings of gratitude for, among other things, making it through when so many did not and for having work we could do remotely when so many did not. I believe we also share in a new and raw awareness of the societal inequities and human needs revealed over the past 18 months.
I hope that you, like me, are hearing the call to do more than just get back into restaurants and airplanes. I feel it’s time we reconnect with the wider world in ways that manifest our values as caring human beings and as a helping profession. Psychology has much to offer this weary and traumatized world. We have many opportunities to help. But I want to bring your attention to one that has lain dormant for a while now, our own Washington State Psychological Foundation, Inc.
The WSP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Its purpose is outlined in the bylaws as follows:
Promoting psychology as a science and as a profession by disseminating information through meetings and publications
Encouraging research, improving research methods, and applying research findings in the field of psychology
Promoting the ethical practice of psychology
Promoting the public welfare through the advancement of scientific, educational, and clinical interests
Receiving and allocating contributions, within the discretion of the Board of Directors, to any organization organized and operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes within the limits of section 501(c)(3) of the Code
Performing other activities or services within the limits of section 501(c)(3) of the Code
Several of us in WSPA are working to revive the work of The Foundation. We need your help to do that. As a start, we are interested in forming an advisory or steering committee to explore how to energize and direct The Foundation’s mission and activities in the coming year. For example, should The Foundation establish an endowment as a means to support students and ECPs through financial scholarships for conference fees and other educational experiences? Are there other charitable and educational entities in the state we might partner with and support in providing helpful resources to our distressed communities?
We are all very busy people. And, if you feel the call to do a bit more for this troubled world, to have psychology assume a healing presence in the state of Washington, then please consider contributing to the mission of The Foundation. Consider joining the advisory committee. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to answer your questions.
Hand to Heart
Chris McCurry, Ph.D.
Legislative Advocacy Committee Update and 2021 Bill Summary
The Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC) met in June and provided a general review of the legislative session:
Legislative leadership’s priority was recovery, which included elements of climate change and racial equity.
Legislators spent late hours conducting session and accomplished more than thought possible given the dramatic changes made to the process due to business being conducted virtually.
It is possible that a hybrid approach will result for future sessions since there were many benefits to the work being conducted remotely.
WSPA and LAC’s focus for the next legislative session will be on 3 main items: RxP, PsyPact, and L&I IME's.
RxP will be introduced during the next legislative session and steps need to be determined so LAC can assist to campaign for this bill. LAC will also join the RxP meetings in August/September to determine how best to support this bill.
PsyPact bill was not granted a hearing during this legislative session. Our Lobbyist, Melanie Smith will meet with Representative Chambers to pursue this bill in 2022 and determine if there are companion bills as well. Our DPA, Samantha Slaughter indicated that the PsyPact Commission requires providers to purchase an EPassport and that ASPPB requires that only those psychologists from APA programs may apply for PsyPact.
L&I – IME’s bill died during this session but will remain alive for the next. However, there was substantial opposition from Labor so Melanie will meet with the Labor Lobbyist to discuss next steps since WSPA and the LAC will need to determine whether to support the bill even with its flaws. This involves the issue of attorneys being granted access to the evaluation process and WSPA will need to decide whether to fix this specific bill or the overall issue of attorney’s being granted access to evaluations.
Review of the Final Bill Statuses from 2021 session
Behavioral Health Bills that Passed:
HB 1086 - Creating the State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy.
HB 1196 - Relating to audio-only telemedicine.
HB 1363 - Addressing secondary trauma in the K-12 workforce.
HB 1373 - Promoting student access to information about behavioral health resources.
HB 1477 - Relating to statewide enhancement & expansion of behavioral health & suicide prevention crisis response services.
This involved creating a taxing mechanism on Telecom to pay for the line, which will take effect on 7/1/22. Those involved with this bill did not disagree with the concept or need but had concerns about how it would be funded and organized. Because of the enormity of this bill, a Workgroup of 50 people, including mental health professionals, and a Steering Committee of representatives from agencies was created. However, the Steering Committee doesn’t include mental health professionals, which is a concern. The Workgroup is needed to make recommendations regarding qualifications for those staffing the line and procedures for managing it.
Step one is to roll over the Suicide Prevention Lines to 988.
HB 1504 - Workforce Education Investment Act
This involves a loan repayment program. The hope if for more equality in the provision of services. This can also assist with RxP.
SB 5071 - Creating transition teams to assist specified persons under civil commitment
SB 5073 - Concerning involuntary commitment
SB 5157 - Providing incentives to reduce involvement by persons with behavioral disorders in the criminal justice system
SB 5229 - Relating to health equity continuing education for health care professionals
This will have to be monitored now as it moves to the Examining Board to set up. WSPA will likely have to weigh in regarding any proposed requirements. Rule-making from the board will likely take a year or more.
SB 5313 - Concerning health insurance discrimination
SB 5325 - Audio only telemedicine
SB 5370 - Mental Health Advance Directives
Law Enforcement Accountability / Social Justice Bills that Passed:
Washington State passed the most bills addressing law enforcement accountability than any other state. Choke holds, use of restraints and tear gas, when to shoot at a moving vehicle, and vehicle chases have been banned or limited. A major change was the ability to decertify a state officer instead of simply putting them on probation
HB 1054 - Establishing requirements for tactics and equipment used by peace officers.
HB 1078 - Restoring voter eligibility for all persons convicted of a felony offense who are not in total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections.
HB 1356 - Prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots, logos, or team names.
HB 1310 - Permissible Use of Force.
SB 5066 - Concerning a peace officer's duty to intervene.
SB 5259 - Concerning law enforcement data collection.