Addressing Trauma in General Medical Health Settings
Co-Chairs: Terri deRoon-Cassini, PhD & Ann Marie Warren, PhD
The overall goal of this task force is to evaluate and create awareness of the role of psychologists to address trauma related issues in multiple medical settings, as the impact that trauma can have on health has been well established. However, the integration of psychologists into medical teams to address trauma related issues to improve overall health is still emerging. For example, there are only a few psychologists across the country who provide care to injured trauma survivors as integrated members of the medical team. The purpose of this task force is to evaluate the role of psychologists in multiple medical environments and to develop job descriptions for these unique roles. This will likely involve developing connections between APA Division 56 and those professional organizations (i.e., American College of Surgeons) to discuss ways that psychologists could improve trauma focused care for specific populations of patients. The goals of this task force include: developing job descriptions that can be utilized by hospitals interested in developing roles for psychologists, connecting with national medical organizations to educate them about the role psychologists can serve, and develop connections between psychologists in these unique and evolving positions. If you are involved in your medical center in a role specific to addressing the impact of trauma, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Developing Web-Based Trauma Psychology Resources
Co-chairs: Amy Ellis, PhD & Vanessa Simiola, MA
The purpose of this task force is to carry out the recently awarded Committee on Division/APA Relations (CODAPAR) grant entitled, “Developing Web-Based Trauma Psychology Resources On Underserved Health Priority Populations for Public and Professional Education.” Presently, there are high rates of trauma and associated negative mental health consequences in underserved populations and a dearth of widely disseminated literature addressing their unique concerns.
The purpose of this grant is to create web-based empirically-informed materials (i.e., printable fact sheets, YouTube videos, and suggested reading lists) on trauma and its impact in underserved health priority populations that will serve as valuable resources for clinicians, researchers and the public. Division 56 will serve as the hub for the collaborative teams from Divisions 12 Section II (Clinical Geropsychology), 20 (Adult Development & Aging), 27 (Community Research and Action: Division of Community Psychology), 33 (Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities), 44 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues), 45 (Culture, Ethnicity & Race), and 53 (Clinical Child and Adolescent) to create an ideal combination of experts. The Division 56 website will serve as the main repository of all collaborative information, with other participating Divisions offering to host information as well. This project is designed to meet APA’s goal of educating professionals and the public about psychology’s role in health and well-being.
Facilitating Male Trauma Survivors’ Meaningful Involvement in Health Research
Co-Chairs: Christopher Anderson and Joan Cook
The goal of this task force is engage male sexual abuse survivors and researchers in a participatory and inclusive dialogue about health care research. Survivors and researchers will share their perspectives on important research topics, relevance of outcomes, how results can best be applied, and barriers to engagement.This project will generate relevant research priorities and testable questions with the intent to improve both the quality of research into male victimization issues and also the participation of male survivors in that research.
Meeting the Needs of Veterans in the Community
Co-Chairs: Sonya Norman, PhD and Jessica Hamblen, PhD
The idea for this new task force emerged from discussions with our president, Dr. Joan Cook, about what Division 56 can do to help prepare psychologists who are treating veterans with trauma related disorders in the community. There are approximately 22 million veterans in the U.S. and more than 3.7 million have trauma-related mental health problems such as PTSD. It is clear that a large number of veterans prefer to receive their healthcare outside of the VA. Recent studies suggest that as many as 30-56% prefer to receive care outside of the VA, with even higher rates among female veterans. These statistics suggest that many psychologists in private practice and in community based treatment settings are likely to encounter veterans in their practices. Yet, studies that have queried mental health providers show that a large number have questions or need more information about military culture, evidence based treatments for trauma related disorders, or resources to help them effectively treating veterans.
The goal of Division 56’s new Meeting the Needs of Veterans in Community Settings task force is to help provide mental health professionals with the resources they need to effectively treat veterans who come to them for care. We are currently in the process of finalizing our goals for the task force. These will include: (1) Querying psychologists about information and resources they feel they need to help them treat veterans, (2) Identifying specific knowledge, skills, and abilities recommended for effectively treating veterans in the community, and (3) Developing a comprehensive list of resources for psychologists treating veterans, including on-line trainings, educational materials, written and web-based materials to share with Veterans and their family members, and consultative resources.