May is Mental Health Awareness Month

As many of you may already know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. APA has quite a few activities planned for May.

On May 4th, APA is cohosting a webinar with the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). This is the first big project we are doing within our new partnership. While this webinar is exclusively for PTA members, it will be recorded and we will share it with you all when it is made available by PTA.

Our very own, Mary Alvord, PhD, will be presenting materials along with two psychologists from APA’s Committee on Children, Youth and Families, Laurie McCubbin, PhD, and Michael Southam-Gerow, PhD. PTA’s President, Otha Thornton, and Executive Director of APA’s Practice Directorate, Katherine Nordal, PhD, will give opening remarks.

The webinar is very similar to the one we did with the YMCA on how to tell if a kid is struggling emotionally. We developed a tip sheet on talking with kids and teens who may be distressed to accompany this webinar. Thank you Stephanie Smith, PsyD; Lynn Schiller, PhD; Andrew Adler, EdD; and Diane Marti, PhD, for helping with content development.

May 14th is our annual Mental Health Blog Day. We will be inviting bloggers from all backgrounds to write about mental health on that day. In the past we have had individuals as well as organizations participate. Some write about mental health in general and others share personal stories.

When we reach out to these bloggers, we will be asking them to write a post on their existing blog about mental health and add our badge to the page. The HTML code for the 2014 badge is available on our blog, HERE. We encourage bloggers to insert our badge onto their blog about mental health and to tweet using #MHBlogDay to help us keep track of who is participating.

On the day of the event, we will be monitoring social media and other online locations to round up all blogs who participated in our blog day. We will compile the list on our blog. HERE is an example from last year.

What can I do as a PEC? Share the word with your colleagues, organizations, media contacts or friends who already have a blog. Click HERE to read more about mental health blog day. If you have any questions please contact Angel at

Look out for more information on Blog Day coming via the Listserv later today.

On May 20th we are releasing the findings from our Mental Health Parity survey as well as a consumer guide and new animated video. Katherine Nordal, PhD, will be doing a radio media tour on May 21st. The video will follow the same characters, Tom and Clara, from our previous videos. This time, Tom has broken his arm. We follow Tom through his experiences with his broken arm vs. his experiences getting therapy for his depression to explain the Mental Health Parity law.

We hope that the video and consumer guide will be practical resources you can share with your patients and with your community.

State Leadership Conference Follow Up

Most everyone who attended SLC responded to our survey. We had a couple of coordinators who had been to SLC more than 12 times! The bulk of you had been 2-3 times and we had just short of 10 first-timers.

Overall everyone was satisfied or very satisfied with the programming. However, everyone wanted more time for networking. In years past we have struggled with ways to make more time for networking and still make our one-day business meeting a great learning experience. There were many good suggestions for future content and we will take these into consideration for next year’s programming.

Topics for Future Webinars

On the call we discussed our interest in offering training webinars to PEC coordinators as well as your committee members and SPTA staff. We appreciate all your feedback on this and will let you know once we have more information on our plans.

Some of the main suggestions from the calls include:

  • Keep it short – about 30 minutes
  • Content training on PEC initiatives such as willpower, resilience, stress, etc.
  • Media training segments
  • Guest speakers
  • Developing your committee
  • Partnership updates
  • Show video series

If you have any other suggestions please send them our way.

Have a great week!

Katelynn Wiggins | Public Relations Associate
Practice Directorate
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
Tel: (202) 336-5898  |  Fax: (202) 336-5797
email: |