The Department of Government Relations, as part of the greater Division of Advocacy, works to ensure that APA delivers a consistent and focused message to policymakers, the media and the public.  Staff within the Department of Government Relations continually work to shape federal and state legislation and regulations of concern to psychiatry and patients.  

For more information regarding the Department of Government Relations, feel free to contact us by phone at (703) 907-7800, or by email at

Federal Affairs

In Washington, DGR advises Congress, the White House, and federal agencies on the APA’s positions and priorities; facilitates communication between psychiatrists and their legislators; and works with the APA Political Action Committee (APAPAC) in its support of federal candidates who will best represent psychiatry’s interests

Comprehensive Mental Health Reform Legislation

Policy and legislation developing in Congress is actively engaged by the Department of Government Relations. DGR conveys the concerns and facts on issues affecting the field of psychiatry to elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate. 


Along with legislation impacting psychiatry and mental health on Capitol Hill, the APA tracks and lobbies policy that is formed by the executive branch in the administration of federal agencies. Relevant agencies include the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Defense, the Social Security Administration, and others. These agencies are governed first by law and second by regulation which, when relevant to psychiatric practice, is commented on by the APA and the comments submitted for agency consideration. 





Federal Update Newsletter: Advocacy update

Every week the Department of Government Relations publishes an advocacy newsletter called Advocacy Update, which gives members a short, weekly wrap-up about what’s happening in Congress.

To view past editions of Advocacy Update or to sign up to receive our newsletters, please click here.

    View our latest edition of Advocacy Update!




DGR staff periodically host webinars to inform APA members and District Branch/State Association staff about regulatory and legislative developments affecting the field of psychiatry. Click on the link to view past webinars.