A message from the president-elect

In her first newsletter submission as president-elect, Linda Bodie discusses her delight and anxiety about her new position and her responsibility to promote the role of psychologists in new health care initiatives

By Linda Bodie, PsyD

As I write my first Newsletter article as the President-Elect of Division 18, I feel very honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve in this role. I am delighted, but somewhat anxious, to be on board in such exciting, yet challenging times. The rapidly changing health care system and health care reform legislation will result in unprecedented change, challenges, as well as, opportunities for psychology as a profession. As psychologists, we must demonstrate our value and enhance the role of public service psychologists as leaders in health care. There are no limits to the leadership roles we can provide in public service, as we are uniquely prepared and qualified for organizational leadership through our training and education. However, we must take action to promote the role of psychologists in the new health care initiatives. We must ensure that best practices, evidence-based treatment and recovery oriented models, including integrative treatment models are delivered.

The mission of Division 18 is a noble one, “to improve the psychological conditions of persons served by public sector agencies”. A vital part of our work includes advocacy, which begins with advocating for ourselves as a profession and for the people we serve. Katherine C. Nordal, Ph.D., APA Executive Director for Professional Practice stated, “The future of psychology as a valued discipline and profession depends on all of us advocating for our profession”. Continuing your membership in Division 18 and APA is one way of promoting advocacy. Last year, one of the  initiatives of Division 18 was to recruit new members and keep our present members engaged. This includes “succession planning”, as we encourage the “new generation” of early career psychologists to get involved in Division functions. We will continue to focus on increasing our membership, including students, interns, early career psychologists, women and minorities of all ages. The goal is to be a vibrant and active Division with a strong voice. Thanks to all who continue to remain active members of Division 18.

A word about our Division journal, Psychological Services…it continues to be a great journal and is one of the most accessed of all APA journals. The journal provides a valued resource and an additional benefit to all Division 18 members, as well as, to the psychological community at large. However, it is vital that we continue to increase access to the journal through other means such as institutional subscriptions. Please check with your university, college, community worksite, and VA libraries to determine if they have an institutional subscription. The electronic database, PsycARTICLES, contains the Psychological Services Journal. It is through this database that revenue is generated for the Division and APA. In addition, we encourage you to share your psychological research and scientific work by submitting your manuscripts to the journal. Your scholarly articles are yet another way to demonstrate your value and enhance the status of public service psychologists.

In closing, I encourage you to become involved in Division 18. There are opportunities to participate in various committees, task forces, and mentoring activities that enhance our abilities to provide outstanding service in many areas, including issues related to suicide and violence prevention, homelessness, serious mental illness, trauma, returning Veterans, racial and ethnic diversity, hospital practice, research and outcome evaluation, criminal justice and police and public safety. Division 18 involvement also offers excellent opportunities to share interests and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues in various organizations committed to public welfare. If you would like more information about opportunities or just want to “chat”, please email me.

I look forward to working with and hearing from you.