Advocacy alert: Psychiatric workforce

  • Another opportunity to testify next week! House Bill 6483, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE REGARDING THE IMPENDING SHORTAGE IN THE PSYCHIATRY WORKFORCE, also put forward by Rep. Cristin McCarthy-Vahey (D-Fairfield), seeks to start working on the growing national shortage of psychiatrists before the full impact is felt. (Nationally the US is expecting a shortage of 50,000-90,000 psychiatrists in the next 8 years.)

While psych APRNs can help, they are also in short supply. Possible solutions include incentivizing more people to go into the field, telepsychiatry, expanding other providers' scope of work, and/or reducing dependency on psychopharmacology. Since it is likely that there will be a lot of debate around how best to address the issue, we support beginning discussions early.

The Public Health Committee is holding a public hearing on the bill on Friday 2/17 to determine whether the public feels this is an important issue and whether a task force will help. If you would like to testify, you can:

  • Speak in person at the Public Health Committee Public Hearing on Friday, February 17th at 10:30am in room 1D at the Legislative Office Building, Hartford. You will have 3 minutes to testify and can also provide your comments in writing. Be sure to practice so you can stay within the time frame! Your written comments can be longer.

Here's a template for offering testimony before the Public Health Committee:

Testimony before the Public Health Committee

February 10, 2017

Good morning, Senator Gerratana, Senator Somers, Representative Steinberg, and esteemed members of the Public Health Committee:

My name is ____________ and I am a resident of _______________. I am here to speak on HB 6483, An Act Establishing a Task Force Regarding the Impending Shortage in the Psychiatry Workforce.

[Then explain whether you are in favor of the bill or against it, and why. Provide any details, whether personal, professional, or research-based, that support your views.]

I urge you to support important services for people with mental health and/or sustance use disorders.

Thank you for considering my perspective.

Email your written comments prior to the hearing to Copies will be distributed to the committee members and also posted online.

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