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Mental Health Day on the Hill 2020
Ewald Conference Center
1000 Westgate Drive
St. Paul, MN 55114

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Thursday, March 12, 2020, 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM CDT
Category: Events

Mental Health Day at the Capitol: Advocating for Psychology and Those We Serve

Thursday, March 12, 2020

1.5 CE credits available

Attn: This event takes place at both Ewald Conference Center (1000 Westgate Drive, St. Paul, MN 55114) and the Capitol (75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55155)


This session is at the intermediate level and is designed for psychologists and other mental health professionals.

About the Program:

Click here to view and download a PDF flyer.

Continuing education credits are awarded only for the 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. portion of the program for a total of 1.5 CE credits.

Mental Health Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2020. The day will begin with a continental breakfast and a presentation focused on didactic and skills’ based training related to advocacy for psychology and the needs of the individuals we serve. The presentation will consist of: provision of information about the legislative process; information about the importance to psychology of legislative advocacy; and discussion of techniques for effective advocacy. Current legislative issues of concern to psychologists will be described, including: information about licensure proposals for Behavior Analysts, discussions underway to change MN Medicaid standards for outpatient mental health services, efforts to increase reimbursement for Medical Assistance services, mental health parity, legislation to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sexual orientation change efforts, and PSYPACT. Participants will observe a demonstration of a conversation with a legislator about issues of concern to psychology. Participants will then role play a discussion with a legislator. Questions will then be taken from the audience. Prior to leaving for the Capitol, participants will complete an evaluation of the presentation. Following such completion, participants will be provided with CE certificates.

Please note: You must attend the full program to get 1.5 continuing education credit for the event.


8:30 a.m.

Brief Introduction and Welcome to Mental Health Day on the Hill
Willie Garrett, M.S., LP, CAEP, Ed.D., President, Minnesota Psychological Association

8:30 a.m. - 8:55 a.m.

Beyond “Schoolhouse Rocks.” How citizen needs become legislation and law. A description of the formal process and the “sausage making” that happens behind closed doors.
Bill Amberg, J.D., Government Relations for Minnesota Psychological Association

8:55 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Issues of interest currently before the legislature will be presented including: funding proposals to increase provider availability, information about proposed behavior analyst licensure, and information about an interstate compact to allow psychologists to practice across state lines in compact states through telepsychology. Current state level stakeholder engagement processes to improve mental health services and delivery will be described.
Trisha A. Stark, Ph.D., LP, M.P.A., Legislative Chair and Federal Advocacy Coordinator for Minnesota Psychological Association

9:15 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.

Initial findings from the study: A First Look at Healthcare Reimbursement Patterns Using the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database will be described. The results of this study will shed light on issues related to parity, healthcare reimbursement and public health policy for mental health professionals, as well as to inform Minnesota lawmakers and contribute to National healthcare reform.
Heather Simmer, M.A,. 4th year graduate student at St. Mary’s University

9:20 a.m. - 9:35 a.m.

Tools for advocacy: building relationships with legislators and engaging in stakeholder policy change. Talking to legislators about issues of concern. Role-play demonstration of how to talk with lawmakers.
Bill Amberg, J.D. and Trisha A. Stark, Ph.D., LP, M.P.A.

9:35 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Participants will have the opportunity to practice advocacy skills through roleplay simulating discussions with legislators.
9:45 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. Presenters will answer participants’ questions about materials presented.

9:55 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Participants will complete session evaluations and receive continuing education certificates.

10:05 a.m. Participants carpool over to the State Capitol to begin scheduled meetings with legislators*

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Mental Health Legislative Network Rally in the Capitol Rotunda*

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Participants can eat lunch (not provided) at the Capitol or in the Transportation Building and attend meetings with legislators*

2:00 p.m. Debriefing in Transportation Building Cafeteria*

*CE not awarded

Upon completion of this session, participants will be better able to:

  1. Describe effective advocacy strategies.
  2. Apply strategies through role play to become an effective advocate for psychology.

About the Presenters:

Trisha A. Stark, Ph.D., LP, M.P.A., M.J.; Dr. Stark has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Miami. Dr. Stark also has a Master’s of Public Affairs from the Humphrey school of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, a certificate in leadership in health information technology from the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University in Chicago.
Current Professional or Work Affiliation: Private Practice and legislative advocacy for psychology, the people we serve, and to encourage electronic care coordination to improve healthcare outcomes for individuals with complex conditions including serious mental illness.

William J. Amberg, M.A., J.D. ; J.D. in law from American University in Washington D.C, and practices law at the Amberg Law Office. Mr. Amberg has nearly three decades of experience in politics and law in St. Paul, Washington, D.C. and across the country. He has expertise lobbying in the areas of healthcare, environment, agriculture, taxation, and local government, amongst others. Mr. Amberg’s past work settings include the U.S. House of Representatives, Director of Communications and Research for a state political party, and Assistant Attorney General in the Health and Antitrust Division of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

Heather Simmer, M.A., is a 4th year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  She serves on the MPA Legislative Committee and has participated in the Mental Health Day on the Hill since 2014.  She is sharing some initial findings from her dissertation: A First Look at Healthcare Reimbursement Patterns Using the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database.  This research is in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Health Economics All Payer Claims Database (MN APCD) and the Minnesota Psychological Association’s Legislative Committee.  It proposes to take a first look at a Public Use File (PUF) of archival healthcare data to better understand reimbursement patterns unique to mental health providers in the state of Minnesota.  The results of this study are intended to shed light on issues related to parity, healthcare reimbursement and public health policy for mental health professionals, as well as to inform Minnesota lawmakers and contribute National healthcare reform.

To Register:

If you would like to participate, please send your name, home address, phone number, and email address to [email protected]. We need this information in order to schedule appointments with legislators for participants. Please register by Friday, February 14.

The Minnesota Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Minnesota Psychological Association maintains responsibility for the program and its contents.

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.