Mental health at the forefront of issues for US physician organisations
Six national Physician Assistant (PA) organisations came together this past week to identify how to impact the mental health crisis in the US.
The PArtners in Mental Health Summit, attended by nearly three dozen healthcare leaders, resulted in a unified commitment to work together to address the challenges of identifying and treating this critical patient care issue. The six organisations include:
- Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the PA
- American Academy of PAs
- National Commission on Certification of PAs
- nccPA Health Foundation
- PA Education Association
- PA Foundation
Ted Wendel, PhD, chair of the board of the nccPA Health Foundation, notes that approximately one in five adults in the US experiences mental illness every year.
He noted, “Certified PAs are on the front lines of healthcare, treating over 8 million patients a week, many with chronic illnesses and multiple comorbidities. Mental illness is often associated with these conditions, and PAs have a unique opportunity to evaluate patients and offer a treatment or referral at this point of care.”
Leveraging a collective impact strategy, the six organisations acknowledged the need to engage and equip all PAs to address mental and behavioural health needs and developed a framework to create and implement programs that will enable them to do that.
The summit was convened and supported by the nccPA Health Foundation.
About the NCCPA and the nccPA Health Foundation
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organisation for PAs in the United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfil certification, certification maintenance and recertification requirements. There are more than 115,500 Certified PAs in the US today.
The nccPA Health Foundation is a supporting organisation of NCCPA. The nccPA Health Foundation is a charitable organisation whose mission is to advance the role of Certified PAs to improve health.
The Foundation is focused on building PA workforce capacity in the areas of mental health and wellness and oral health as part of overall health. It also funds grants to equip and encourage Certified PAs and PA students to promote more equitable care.