Workforce Development

Workforce team

APA is committed to promoting psychology by advocating for federal programs that support the interprofessional education and training of psychologists.

Our Workforce Priorities

We advocate for the field of psychology's future by focusing on the following federal programs:

Developing a Strong Psychology Workforce Matters

A diverse and well-distributed psychology workforce has a positive impact on the health and well-being of American communities

Counties with higher concentrations of licensed psychologists enjoy better health

Adults who live in counties with more psychologists tend to report fewer poor mental and physical health days per month, even after controlling for variables such as income and health insurance coverage, according to a county-level analysis.

Counties with more psychologists also have significantly fewer adults who drink excessively or smoke or who have diabetes, obesity or are physically inactive. 

The analysis used multiple linear regression and controlled for various demographic, socioeconomic, health insurance-related and environmental variables. 

Datapoint: More psychologists, healthier counties, APA's Center for Workforce Studies


Federal Funding

We track federal policy and spending that affect the psychology workforce and advocate for programs that expand people's access to the care psychologists provide.

Recent APA Advocacy on Psychology Workforce Development

Mental Health Reform Provisions Expand Support for Psychology Workforce Education and Training

With support from APA and the broader mental health and research community, President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on Dec. 13, 2016. APA members and our grassroots network sent more than 20,000 messages to their senators and representative asking them to pass mental health reform in 2016, resulting in several significant wins for psychology education and training. The 21st Century Cures Act:

  • Reauthorizes the Graduate Psychology Education Program at $15 million to support health service psychology students, interns and postdocs to work in integrated care settings.
  • Authorizes the Minority Fellowship Program at $12.7 million to train culturally competent minority mental health professionals.
  • Includes health service psychology programs and internships in a new $10 million demonstration grant program for academic programs to improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders and provide services in underserved and community-based settings.

APA Government Relations Office staff worked closely with congressional staff in developing the language of the workforce provisions included in the 21st Century Cures Act. We continue to monitor these programs and advocate for their funding through the appropriations process.

We have a tremendous opportunity to help shape the laws and policies that directly affect psychology and the populations we work with. We can make a real difference in our society.
—Melba Vasquez, PhD, ABPP, 2011 APA President

Get Involved

Learn more about the process behind federal legislation and policy & how to effectively voice your concerns with members of Congress.

Sign Up for Alerts

APA's Federal Action Network keeps you updated on legislative issues critical to psychology. Stay informed on issues that matter to you.

Contact Us

Karen Studwell, JD
Associate Executive Director of APA Education Government Relations


About APA Advocacy

APA represents the largest and most visible national presence advocating for psychology at the federal level. There are three APA government relations offices and two APA-affiliated organizations that engage in government relations activities. 

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