- By Rebecca Brendel, M.D., J.D.
The Hallmark version of the holiday season portrays a snow-blanketed cozy, warm and loving environment in which we reconnect with friends, family and loved ones, and celebrate the people and events we are thankful for. In fact, in a new poll from the American Psychiatric Association, 47% of Americans say that’s the thing they look forward to the most this holiday season, and, no doubt, it can be joyous.
APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. delivers a message in recognition of Juneteenth, which commemorates the day that the end of slavery was proclaimed by Union forces in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. Dr. Pender discusses the impact that social inequities have on our society, and the importance of working to ensure freedom and equality for all people. Juneteenth, which represents freedom and justice for all Black Americans, is expected to become a federal holiday with President Biden's signature this afternoon.
Last month, faced with an unprecedented amount of social unrest in the lead-up to this year’s election, APA issued a statement calling for calm. As we continue to hear about the threats on individual lives and see the violence in the lead up to the January presidential inauguration, I reiterate that call.
When the Board of Trustees concluded that APA Annual Meeting could not be held due to travel and large-gathering restrictions in Philadelphia associated with the outbreak of COVID-19, it was a painful, but correct decision. Many of our members depend on the Annual Meeting to earn their CME credits, hone their clinical skills, learn about the latest in groundbreaking research, and network with friends and colleagues from all over the world.
- By Altha Stewart, M.D.
One of the great things about the American Psychiatric Association is how much the organization welcomes its members getting involved. Whether it is sitting on a council or committee, advocating at the local, state and national level, or serving on the APA Assembly, there are plenty of ways for members to work to promote the interests of our patients and our profession.