Dear North Dakota Psychologists,
The mission of the North Dakota Psychological Association (NDPA) has always been to foster awareness of mental health and psychological issues among consumers, the general public, health care providers, and government agencies. In line with our mission, we continually advocate for and protect the interests of North Dakota psychologists by monitoring issues that impact our profession and the lives of those we serve. Working closely with the NDPA Legislative Committee, our professional lobbyist (whose involvement/support is funded by your annual dues) monitors and tracks legislative activity of interest to NDPA, communicates with legislators and other stakeholders regarding relevant bills, and performs bill advocacy tasks in order to protect our profession and the psychological and general well-being of North Dakota citizens.
NDPA also regularly collaborates with the American Psychological Association (APA) to protect the professional interests of psychologists. Indeed, NDPA recently sent letters to CMS in response to the proposed reduction in reimbursement for psychologists. In addition, as the COVID-19 crisis began, NDPA partnered with APA to advocate for telehealth access and reimbursement. In this way, NDPA was able to communicate with the North Dakota Insurance Commissioner and the Governor’s Office, which resulted in the provision of guidelines for insurance carriers (and allowed our residents access to essential services while protecting North Dakota psychologists from financial insecurity). Our continued affiliation with APA enhances NDPA’s capacity to react to proposed changes in reimbursement and scope of services, and assists us in becoming more proactive in protecting our interests.
NDPA similarly works to extend APA’s robust advocacy efforts to our North Dakota communities. Indeed, the extraordinary events of 2020 has underscored the importance of psychology’s role in targeting critical societal issues. As such, NDPA will focus on ways that we can increase the public’s awareness of behavioral health issues; in 2021, we plan to embark on a campaign to disseminate information through social media platforms in order to reach those whose access to psychological services is restricted. In this way, we hope to promote the psychological wellbeing of North Dakota residents and provide you, as psychologists, with the opportunity to share your knowledge with a broader audience.
In addition to promoting your services to the public, NDPA can also assist in providing you with affordable professional CEU workshops and conferences. Not only do we plan to continue our annual Spring and Fall conferences, but we hope to also regularly provide additional online and virtual programs to allow you to remain informed about innovative evidence-based practices and issues affecting our profession (with reduced pricing for NDPA members).
We are so fortunate to have such wonderful psychologists as members of NPDA, and appreciate your regular posts on the NDPA list serve: the knowledge you share not only helps us stay current with important issues, but also fosters our connection with each other. We hope that you consider joining (or rejoining) NDPA to continue our mission in advocating for North Dakota psychologists and the communities we serve. Thank you!
Dr. Jessica Mugge
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
President, North Dakota Psychological Association