By Georgeann Brown, Ph.D.
Mental health advocacy is a passion of mine, and I have the privilege of being involved in multiple areas of advocacy within the Kentucky Psychology Association. I am the Federal Advocacy Coordinator, a member of the Legislative Committee, have chaired KPA’s Legislative/Psychology Day in Frankfort for the past 6 years, and serve on the KPA Political Action Committee. The idea of psychologists getting involved politically to help influence mental health policy appealed to me early on in my career, but it took me the “longest” to understand the importance of contributing money to political campaigns. Every year, I would help prepare KPA’s talking points for our annual Psychology Day in Frankfort, and send Action Alerts to the KPA membership for important legislation. Despite our group being well prepared and articulating our legislative priorities effectively, it became clear to me the importance of having legislators in office that would help us accomplish our legislative priorities and ultimately to improve mental health access and treatment in Kentucky. With psychology-friendly legislators in office, we are more likely to see success. I have come to see that these legislators are in both political parties, often have a family member/friend who is struggling with a mental health issue, and understand the value of protecting and promoting psychology/behavioral health care. I now realize the importance of psychology being involved in the entire political process, not only to be at the table, but to be a part of creating it.
At the KPA Board retreat on June 7th and 8th at Barren River State Park, I spoke on behalf of the PAC regarding the importance of political giving through KPA-PAC. In order for the best candidates to be elected, they have to procure funding for their campaigns. In 2018, KPA gave over $11,300 to 21 candidates. Over 81% of the candidates we gave to were elected. KPA-PAC has a process of deciding which candidates to give to that have been friendly to KPA’s priorities and mental health policies we support. Giving to these legislators’ campaigns helps get psychology-friendly legislators elected, gives KPA name recognition, and distinguishes us as an allied organization that wants to work with politicians to improve mental health care in Kentucky.
KPA’s board and committee members are highly involved, and many prioritize giving to KPA-PAC. We had a fun Starbucks gift card drawing for board members who pledged to give to the KPA-PAC at our board retreat on June 8th. Congratulations to Maggie Sargeant for winning the drawing (see picture). If we all pool our money together, we can work to help elect the best candidates, give voice to KPA, and help prioritize mental health-related legislation that will best serve Kentuckians. Please consider donating at the following levels below:
□ Bronze Level $1-100
□ Silver Level $101-249
□ Gold Level $250-499
□ Platinum Level $500-$999
□ Leadership Circle $1000 - $2000
You can contribute in one of two ways:
2. On-line with a personal credit card by going to http://www.kpapac.org/take-action/
Checks can be personal checks (preferred) but they can come from business checks (if the business is not incorporated, an LLC or is Associates in Psychology) It could be a check from “Dr. Joe Schmoe” from a business account. PAC donations are NOT tax deductible