WPA News, February 2018 

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President's Message, February 2018
Justin Schoen, MD

Dear Colleagues,

As we thaw from the final days of substantial cold, I wanted to share a few updates.  We had a very successful Doctor Day with Psychiatry being well represented, as we were the second largest group of providers present. WPA held a well-attended pre-Doctor Day meeting to discuss legislative topics critical to Psychiatry including access, emergency detentions, the HOPE agenda and more. Hopefully, we can continue to build on the success of prior years and continue to grow this important advocacy event. It is truly an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues from other specialties, as well as discuss concerns directly with our legislators. 

On the same day as Doctor Day, Doctor John Schneider and I were fortunate to have had an opportunity to walk over to the Capitol and testify on the WPA’s behalf in support of AB 848, which helps minors who do not have a consenting adult get access to therapy services in a timely manner. 

Speaking of timing, it is time for all of us to catch up on two fronts! If you haven’t already, please make sure your APA/WPA Membership Dues for 2018 are paid in full. And, don’t forget to register for our 2018 Annual Conference, taking place in two short weeks. Read more.

WPA 2018 Annual Conference is Two Weeks Out!

Join WPA for "Emerging Treatments and Controversies" at the 2018 Annual Conference, taking place March 8-10 at The Edgewater in Madison.

Sessions will explore psychiatric treatments, some controversial, including pharmacotherapy (ketamine, psilocybin, MDMA), TMS, and medical marijuana. As a counter point, we will have the perspective on addiction and these substances from an addiction medicine specialist.

Other clinical updates will be provided by content experts, and Rebecca Brendel, MD, JD from Harvard will lead a discussion on the latest updates on the controversial Goldwater rule.

Register today and join us in Madison!

March 15 is Deadline for APA Action Papers

Members who have an interest in submitting an Action Paper are encouraged to contact the WPA Assembly Reps, Drs. Michael Peterson and Clarence Chou, through the WPA office. They are available to help WPA members in drafting an Action Paper and preparing it for submission. 

Visit Action Paper Central for more information including the status of governance actions, future meetings, and the path of an action paper. The action paper deadline for the May 2018 APA Assembly meeting is March 15, 2018

Advocates back bill granting unaccompanied minors emergency mental health treatment
February 2, Wisconsin Health News

Mental health advocates back a bill that would allow unaccompanied youth access to emergency outpatient mental health treatment without parental consent.

The proposal would grant a one-time, 30-day window in which the requirement for informed consent of a parent or guardian would be waived. The bill would apply to outpatient treatment, not inpatient treatment or prescription medication.

Bill author Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, said it would help homeless and runaway children who have suffered physical and emotional abuse or been forced into unwanted sexual activity.

“These youth are unable to access mental health services in a timely fashion,” she told lawmakers at a public hearing Tuesday before the Assembly Committee on Mental Health.

Wisconsin Psychiatric Association President Dr. Justin Schoen supports the proposal. He said it would allow professionals to start treating the symptoms of child with mental illness whose parents may be absent or unreachable in a time of crisis.

“The sooner we can get that child access to care, any sort of mental healthcare that targets the trauma, will result in a better outcome,” Schoen said.

March 13 Panel: The Future of Mental Health in Milwaukee

Milwaukee's mental health system is in flux. The county is moving forward with overhauling the way it delivers care, with an emphasis on community supports rather than institutions. It's also working with healthcare providers and others to study how to best provide emergency care for patients.

John Wisconsin Health News for a panel discussion where experts will weigh in on the system's transformation at a Wisconsin Health News panel in Milwaukee on Tuesday, March 13. 


  • Barbara Beckert, Disability Rights Wisconsin Milwaukee Office Director
  • Mike Lappen, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division Administrator
  • Joy Tapper, Milwaukee Health Care Partnership Executive Director

Register online.

Other News

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