Monday, April 28, 2008

North Carolina Psychological Association: CAUTION: DIPP's at work

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Licensed Psychologist, Asheville, NC 828 254 2013, office
e mail:

April 28, 2008

I've thought about this post in terms of any ethical duty I have as associated with my profession. And indeed, the APA Code of Ethics seem to support my intention to highlight NC's Psychological Association non-attendance of profound difficulties as re: NC mental health reform: (from the APA Code of Ethics and Conduct):

"..... Psychologists do not knowingly make public statements that are false, deceptive, or fraudulent concerning their research, practice, or other work activities or those of persons or organizations with which they are affiliated.....

Principle D: JusticePsychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists......

Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands:

If the demands of an organization with which psychologists are affiliated or for whom they are working conflict with this Ethics Code, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and to the extent feasible, resolve the conflict in a way that permits adherence to the Ethics Code.."

Let it be known that I have expressed my deep concern to the Executive Director of NCPA re: the harm that is taking place re: NC mental health reform as regards Medicaid and state funded clients.

And I have not been answered.

Here are my 4 points as re: April NCPA board meeting minutes:

1. NCPA seems to have an inexhaustible ability to ignore and not comment in any shape or form about NC mental health reform fiasco and how it is affecting providers and clients as re: its minutes.

2. Just what is DIPP (Division of Independent Professional Practice; too funny, really) doing re: this: "DIPP is working to rescend Medicare reductions." ??

3. So, NCPA is supporting NCMentalHealthvote. Sounds good, but just what is it?

Founded by the NC Psychiatric Association: "NCMentalHealthVOTE is a non-partisan project that aims to create a more informed candidate and voter on issues concerning North Carolina’s Mental health system."

They state that their purpose is to shed light on the issues. But then, when you look at their 'Solutions', what you see are references to conservative think tanks and a diss'ing of those providers (gasp) who were trying to make a living: this is what you see:

a. conservative John Locke foundation represented with notions of this: "Lower costs and better outcomes are the goals for all involved. Loosening state control is an essential step in the process. " John Hood's Daily JournalBetter Mental Health Through Less State Control (hint: even the leading Republicans running for governor are not adovcating for loosening state control).

b. "....And then there were the caregivers, using that term loosely, who took advantage of a type of service called "community support," in which workers with high school diplomas were assigned to assist the mentally ill in day-to-day chores.

Sorry, News Observer: but NC DHHS Service Definitions created in 2005 allowed for this.

So, of ALL the HUNDREDS of articles in the news services, editorials, etc., THIS is what is chosen? Oh yes, its perfectly clear what the agenda of NCMentalVote is: to continue to say nothing about what is going on.

4. Only bright spot on the entire set of NCPA minutes was associated with 'closing the loophole' (sorry: you cannot cut and paste those valuable minutes) about psychologists being involved in interrogations/ torture.

Otherwise, it appears that NCPA is simply re-arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, otherwise known as: 'how to rid the state of all the well qualified providers.'

All those 'wonderful' solutions about how to get more providers INTO the state will be for naught if no one wants to work here BECAUSE WE CANNOT BE PAID A LIVING WAGE.


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