The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) hosted two public workshops this spring. Each was planned by the NASEM Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders and offered as a 1½-day hybrid (virtual and in-person) public workshop.
The 2023 workshop titled “Improving Access to High-Quality Mental Health Care for Veterans” held April 21 and 22 explored the current landscape for mental health care services in the United States, including the use of telehealth services. The workshop highlighted ways to improve veterans’ timely access to high-quality care for mental health disorders. In particular, the workshop considered internal and external best practices for three critical needs for mental health access (known as “tripartite access” in the VA): urgent/crisis access, engagement access, and sustained access.
Among the invited speakers were two clinical pharmacists, Anne Lord Bailey, Pharm.D., BCPS, and Andre Montes, Pharm.D., BCPP. Bailey is director of clinical tech innovation and the immersive technology lead at the Veterans Health Administration. She presented on the use of immersive technology (e.g., virtual reality) to improve veterans’ mental health. Montes discussed using clinical pharmacists as entry points into mental health care and care management.
ACCP member Richard Silvia, Pharm.D., BCPP, participated in the workshop planning committee on the College’s behalf. Silvia also served as a moderator and panelist for different sessions on the second day of the workshop. He is a professor of pharmacy practice at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston and clinical psychiatric pharmacist at Codman Square Health Center.
The slides and recording are publicly available and can be accessed here. Proceedings of this workshop will be published in the coming months on the NASEM website.
On May 15–16, the NASEM Forum will host its second public workshop, “Addressing the Rising Mental Health Needs of an Aging Population,” to explore the current state of mental health care for older adults in the United States and potential strategies to address the mental health needs and challenges of the aging U.S. population.
Invited presentations and discussions are designed to:
- Discuss the incidence and prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders among older adults as well as the range and availability of services to address these needs
- Explore strategies to improve the quality, capacity, equity, and access of community-based and institutional mental health services for older adults
- Consider ways to build and sustain comprehensive programs that support the well-being of older adults with mental health disorders (e.g., dementia)
- Explore current and new approaches to help older people with mental health disorders live where they prefer in the community and to support their family caregivers
- Review knowledge gaps that impede progress in identifying and providing appropriate care for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, which could be addressed through new research
ACCP member Jennifer R. Bean, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCPP, participated in the planning committee on the College’s behalf and served as a moderator. She is a clinical pharmacist practitioner in geriatric mental health at the VISN 9 Clinical Resource Hub of the Veterans Administration in Louisville, Kentucky.
Information about the workshop can be found here, where the recording of the workshop can also be accessed by late May/early June.
ACCP would like to acknowledge and thank Drs. Silvia and Bean for their time, effort, and expertise in planning and participating in these NASEM workshops. ACCP greatly appreciates their contributions to this multistakeholder collaboration and their representation of the College in its advocacy efforts to improve mental health care.
Dr. Silvia serves as moderator and panelist during the second day of the workshop.