Despite improved early identification and treatment, most youth with mental illnesses do not receive services and face barriers in accessing high quality care. Learn more about AACAP's federal and state initiatives to help eliminate these barriers in our rapidly changing health care environment.

Community-Based Systems of Care
Clinicians who serve children and adolescents with complex mental health needs generally find themselves interfacing with multiple child-serving systems and community programs, including juvenile justice, child welfare, substance abuse developmental disabilities, and schools. AACAP advocates for services in each of the systems to provide effective "wrap around" care.

Health Care Reform
AACAP is committed to the overall reform of our nation's health care system. Mental health recovery is integral to overall health and should be included in any comprehensive health care reform package. AACAP was committed to these principles during the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continues to impact implementation through regulations.

Psychiatric Medications and Mental Health Research
AACAP advocates for funding increases for the research of child and adolescent disorders and to ensure the availability of improved treatment options. AACAP strongly supports the principle that needed mental health treatment services, including medication, must be available to all children.

Mental Health Parity
The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act ended health insurance benefits discrimination between mental health/substance use disorders and medical/surgical benefits for group health plans with more than 50 employees. The law became effective on January 1, 2010. AACAP is actively involved in the implementation of the federal law, as well as efforts to advocate for more expansive parity through state legislation.

Workforce and Graduate Medical Education
AACAP works to increase recruitment into child and adolescent psychiatry through the expansion of loan forgiveness programs for child and adolescent psychiatry trainees and federal support for training programs through graduate medical education (GME) funds.

Scope of Practice
AACAP closely monitors state legislative efforts to expand non-physician scope of practice and support members in their efforts to educate legislators and the public about the risks involved in this scope of practice expansion. (Members Only - please login to view.)