From MPA's President-Elect Steve Vincent: Calling All Psychologists

The Easily Observed Contributions

A quick scan of MPA’s home page shows a wide variety of events, information and opportunities for all psychologists.   These include the upcoming Fifth Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference showcasing Advances in Rural Practice (October 11), the Annual President’s Conference on the Jigsaw Puzzle of Cognition and Affect (November 11), the  accompanying pre-conference workshop on  November 9 on the topic of cultural influences and individual differences, and multiple excellent First Friday Forums.  MPA continues to present excellent learning opportunities and the ability to earn useful CEs for licensed psychologists.  MPA serves psychology and all of the citizens of Minnesota, just as our Mission Statement says.

More Happening Behind the Scenes

Also, MPA continues to advocate effectively with state agencies and with payers.  Currently the State of Minnesota is developing its criteria for Behavioral Health Homes, a form of medical home aimed at meeting all health care needs of people with chronic mental illness.  The state has developed an advisory council to work on these criteria, and MPA has a member on that council.  MPA has been present and actively involved with legislative and regulatory affairs.   We want to ensure that psychologists are able to lead behavioral health homes. Without MPA’s previous and on-going involvement, psychology would not be represented.  Simultaneously, MPA is working with payers and regulators to ensure that the public has access to medical necessity criteria.

The Call

As I mentioned in my last column, none of the above would be possible if MPA did not have many actively engaged members.  We must not assume that we can continue to grow and protect psychology and our state unless MPA is growing too.  With nearly 700 members, MPA is not a small organization.  On the other hand, with over 3900 licensed psychologists in the state, MPA has significant room for growth and to make even a bigger impact.  When we add psychologists who may not be licensed but are teaching, doing research, leading programs and organizations, the potential for MPA’s growth becomes even greater. Here’s what each of us can do.  First, make sure we are MPA members.  Our strength is truly in numbers.  If you have not joined MPA, please do so.  If you are a member, thank you and please make sure to renew your membership.  Second, speak to other psychologists and encourage them to join MPA, telling them of all the benefits of membership and all the valuable contributions MPA is making to psychology and to the people of Minnesota.  Third, get involved with MPA activities in any and every way that makes sense for you—educational events such as First Friday Forums or the Rural Psychology and President’s conferences coming this Fall; participation in divisions, committees or task forces; or consider running for a seat on the Governing Council.

Connection, Protection and Growth

MPA offers all psychologists the opportunity to connect with colleagues, while giving us a voice and protection from events and forces that might undermine support for our science and profession, and providing multiple channels for our growth.  As our membership numbers grow, so do the opportunities to connect, protect, grow and serve psychology and the public welfare.  This is worthwhile, even noble, work.  Please join in the challenge and help us all make it fun.

Steven M. Vincent, Ph.D., L.P., is the Director of Behavioral Health Services, CentraCare Health System ([email protected]).  Dr. Vincent is the current president-elect of MPA, having served two terms on the Governing Council from 2003 to 2009, and as a Legislative Committee Chair from 2004-2012.   Steve was also on the Governing Council of the American Hospital Association Section on Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services from 2010 through 2012.  He is the founding chair of the Minnesota Hospital Association’s Mental Health Task Force.


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Diversity Statement

The Minnesota Psychological Association actively encourages the participation of all psychologists regardless of age, creed, race, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental status, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation, and sexual or affectional orientation.Although we are an organization of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, the Minnesota Psychological Association also recognizes our core unifying identities as Psychologists who practice in America. We also recognize that we may hold unintentional attitudes and beliefs that influence our perceptions of and interactions with others. Within this context of unity and self-exploration, we are committed to increasing our sensitivity to all aspects of diversity as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.We aspire to becoming alert to aspects of diversity, previously unseen or unacknowledged in our culture. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with multicultural groups to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society. To this end, we are dedicated to increasing our multicultural competencies and effectiveness as educators, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and practitioners.