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Mental Health Day on the Hill 2018
Ewald Conference Center
1000 Westgate Drive
St. Paul, MN 55114

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Thursday, March 15, 2018, 8:30 AM CST
Category: Events

Mental Health Day on the Hill
March 15, 2018

1.5 CEs available for program attendance

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



About the Program:

Mental Health Day is scheduled for March 15, 2018. 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 and those with mental health needs will be described, including proposed changes to the Psychology Practice Act, information about licensure proposals for Behavior Analysts, and discussions underway to change MN Medicaid standards for outpatient mental health services. 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. Presenters include Trisha A. Stark, Ph.D., LP, M.P.A. chair of the legislative committee and Federal Advocacy Coordinator, and Bill Amberg, M.A., J.D., MPA’s lobbyist, and Sarah Wiljamaa, M.A., student member on MPA’s legislative committee.


8:30 a.m.

Brief Introduction and Welcome to Mental Health Day on the Hill
Bruce Bobbitt, Ph.D., LP 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., Lobbyist for Minnesota Psychological Association

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

Issues of interest currently before the legislature will be presented including: changes to the psychology practice act impacting access to care, funding proposals to increase provider availability, information about proposed behavior analyst licensure, and information about a mental health parity bill designed to ensure equity in mental health services. 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. An example of engagement in a stakeholder process. Participating in a grassroots task force to update Minnesota’s civil commitment law.
Sarah Wiljamaa, M.A., doctoral student in psychology at Argosy University

9:20 a.m. - 9:40 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.

9:40 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. Participants will practice role play discussions with a legislator

9:50 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Question and Answer Opportunity

10:00 a.m. Completion of evaluations and certificate distribution

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. Demonstrate skills to advocate for legislation that improves services and access for individuals with psychological difficulties.

About the Presenters:

Trisha A. Stark, Ph.D., LP, M.P.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, and a certificate in leadership in health information technology from the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Jurisprudence in Health Law at 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.

Sarah Wiljamaa, M.A.; M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the  Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. In addition to her interests in assessment and treatment, Ms. Wiljamaa is focused on research and advocacy for underserved populations. She has special interests in human sexuality, forensic psychology, and social justice.  She is currently working on her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.

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 notify us by Thursday, February 15 if you would like to participate.

Click here for a PDF Flyer

Contact: Trisha A. Stark, Ph.D., LP, MPA - [email protected]

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.