OPA Public Sector Issues Committee

The Public Sector Issues (PSI) Committee of the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) provides support to psychologists and their clients in various settings and organizations which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • State psychiatric hospitals
  • Community mental health centers
  • Veteran’s administration medical centers
  • Military
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Nonprofit health care systems
  • Correctional settings

Clients typically served include current and former active duty military and those in academic, clinical, and institutional settings (e.g., jails, prisons, hospitals, etc.). Those in schools, colleges, and universities also are served as well. Individuals with lower incomes, as well as limited opportunities and resources, are also typically served. Services are typically supported directly or indirectly through federal, state, and local government funding.

A wide variety of services are offered for the clients at these locations (e.g., treatment, assessment, management, etc.). Often, individuals involved in treatment (affiliated with any of the aforementioned settings or organizations) are in need of assistance for trauma-related disorders, substance use disorders, or serious and persistent mental illnesses (e.g., psychosis). Treatment may also include case management, pharmacological management, and community supportive psychiatric treatment. Assessment can include myriad referrals – depending on the setting and context (e.g., to determine whether a student meets criteria for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act [IDEA], to conduct a psychological evaluation for the purpose of making treatment recommendations; etc). Additionally, assessment may involve specific psycholegal questions referred by the Courts as well as evaluations of defendants at various times of their legal involvement.

The major goals of the PSI Committee are to:

  • Sponsor continuing education that addresses the needs of public sector psychologists and their clients
  • Identify and advocate for policies that affect consumers of publicly funded behavioral health services
  • Promote evidence-based assessment and treatment for these clients
  • Increase awareness of public sector issues among professionals and the public
  • Work collaboratively with the OPA Board of Directors to ensure that these issues are addressed


The Public Sector Issues Committee was awarded a voting membership on the OPA Board of Directors in June 2008. However, OPA Public Sector Psychologists have a 20-year history of working in this area. You can read about the history of this group in the May 2009 OPA Update.


To monitor and advocate for issues impacting consumers of publicly funded behavioral health services in all settings and to work collaboratively with the OPA Board of Directors to ensure that these issues are addressed through education and advocacy.


We envision an equitable,comprehensive, accessible and effective health care system in which public behavioral health clients receive high-quality services which include psychologists as providers.


Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 8 p.m. and last for one hour, unless otherwise noted.  These teleconferences are supplemented by at least one face-to-face meeting a year, and have historically been a 3 hour retreat-type meeting at the home of one of the members during a summer month.


We welcome new members! Psychologists and graduate students who would like to learn more about the committee or apply for membership should contact the committee chair.

Committee Members

Cindy Orlasky, Ph.D., Chair
Dawn Graham, Ph.D., Chair-elect
Lynne Rustad, Ph.D.,Past chair
David Aronson, Ph.D.
David Coleman,Ph.D.
Lani Eberlein,Ph. D.
Fred Frese,Ph.D.
Robert Goldberg, Ph.D.
Majorie Kukor, Ph.D.
Erich Merkle, Ph.D.
Mary Ann Teitelbaum
Jon Thomas,Ph.D.
Rita Wood,Psy.D.

Staff: Michael Ranney, MPA

Professional Resources

Serious Mental Illness

Davidson, L., Harding, C., & Spaniol, L. (Eds). (2005). Recovery from severe mental illnesses: Research evidence and implications for practice, Volume 1. Boston: Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Davidson, L., Harding, C., & Spaniol, L. (Eds). (2006). Recovery from severe mental illnesses: Research evidence and implications for practice, Volume 2. Boston: Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Harding, C.M., Brooks, G.W., Ashikaga, T., Strauss, J.S., & Breier, A. (1987). The Vermont longitudinal study of persons with severe mental illness, I: Methodology, study sample, and overall status 32 years later. American Journal of Psychiatry; 144: 718-726. Read the abstract.

Ohio Regional Psychiatric Hospitals

Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services: Main Site

Substance Use and Other Addictions

APA Division 28 – Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse

APA Division 50 – Society of Addiction Psychology

Forensic Psychology

American Academy of Forensic Psychology

Ohio Department of Mental Health Forensic Services: Forensic Services – Mental Health and Criminal Justice

Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC)

Juvenile Justice

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ)

Health Psychology

Frank, R.G., McDaniel, S.H., Bray, J.H. & Heldring, M. (Eds.). (2003). Primary Care Psychology. Washington, D.C,: American Psychological Association.

Gatchel, R.J. & Oordt, M.S. (2003). Clinical Health Psychology and Primary Care: Practical Advice and Clinical Guidance for Successful Collaboration. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Rural Mental Health

Ohio Rural Mental Health

Rural Resources through American Psychological Association (APA)

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC)

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Injured Worker Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

School Psychology

The Ohio School Psychologists Association

National Association of School Psychologists

Military Psychology

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Mental Health

PTSD in the Military

Integrated Care

Integrating Behavioral Health Across the Continuum of Care

Wedding, D., & Stuber, M.L. (Eds.). (2010). Behavior & medicine, 5th edition. Cambridge: Hogrefe Publishing.

Kelly, J.F., & Coons, H.L. (2012).  Integrated health care and professional psychology: Is the setting right for you?  Professional Psychology:  Research and Practice, 43, 586-595.

Hicken, B.L., & Plowhead, A. (2010). A model for home-based psychology from the Veterans Health Administration.  Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41, 340-346.

Zeiss, A.M., & Karlin, B.E. (2008). Integrating mental health and primary care services in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 15, 73-78.

Client Self-Help Resources

Members of the PSI Committee and Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) have contributed suggestions for consumer-friendly self-help resources. Please note that OPA as an organization does not endorse any of the particular resources listed, nor does it ensure the accuracy of the information given in these resources.



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