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Public Policy Position Letter

Professionals working in public health have a responsibility to the welfare of others that goes beyond service to individuals.  As developing professionals with some expertise in human behavior, research and mental health, you need to consider your responsibility to the larger community.  Government policy affects individuals in many ways.  Laws and public programs affect nearly every aspect of life:  education, criminal justice, housing, health care, urban violence, media, mental health policy and so forth.  As developing leaders of this society, you will at some point have the responsibility to help shape public policy.  Your assignment now is to choose a pending bill in the state or federal legislature.  You can review pending legislation by visiting legislative or advocacy websites related to mental health policy, and formulate a well-written letter to the legislator or other government or institutional official of your choice.   You can advocate for the bill or oppose it.  Topics may include, but are not limited to managed care, deinstitutionalization, access to mental health services, the escalating cost of mental health care, supported employment for mental health clients, the use of non-physician providers in mental health services, effects of television violence, etc.

The letter should be 3-4 pages long, double-spaced.  You will not be evaluated on the nature of your opinion, but on the quality of your argument and the relevance of any research you cite.  State clearly what you are asking the official to do and base your comments on reputable research.  After your letter is reviewed, you will be expected to mail it and share any response with the class.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Paper (ACA,)

The third short paper (4 to 5 pages, double-spaced) will be on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and/or Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act.  Your paper should be on some aspect of implementation and how it is impacting persons with mental health issues.  You must refer to class readings in your paper and to other information you find in peer-reviewed journals and/or the popular press. Do not rely solely on articles in the popular press but use them to supplement peer-reviewed articles. You will need to include 6-8 citations for A level work. Again, APA format should be used with the same caveats as above. Points will also be deducted for grammatical and spelling errors

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Category: Sample Questions