Have You Called Your Representatives/Senators Yet?

Have you called your Representatives/Senators about the Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 1879/HR 3032) yet? If you are from one of the above states, your Member of Congress needs to hear from you!

Download the Virtual Advocacy Day Grassroots Packet


If you are from one of the following states, your Member of Congress needs to hear from you!
  • Senate: Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah
  • House: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee
Check out our packet at the link above for what Representatives and Senators from your state need your calls, Tweets and Facebook posts in support of improving access to mental health for seniors! #SeniorsNeedMHCounselors!
Any questions? Email us at AMHCAVirtualActionDay17@gmail.com or call (240) 389-0743.
Sincerely,
The American Mental Health Counselors Association

Medicare Authorization for Counselors

NCC ALERT | Medicare Authorization for Counselors | Fall 2017

Dear NCC,

NBCC needs your assistance in securing authorization for mental health counselors to treat Medicare patients. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have introduced S. 1879, the Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2017, and we need your help to find co-sponsors for the bill.

Medicare coverage of mental health counselors has been one of NBCC’s top legislative priorities for many years. Providing Medicare recognition to mental health counselors will increase access to addiction and mental health services, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

With your help, such coverage could become a reality. We urge you to call your senators immediately and request that they co-sponsor S. 1879. The more contacts with legislators that we can generate, the greater likelihood that we can finally get this bill passed.

Your senators are Deborah Stabenow, (202) 224-4822 and Gary Peters, (202) 224-6221.

Please call them as soon as possible and ask them to co-sponsor S. 1879. If you are unsure of what to say, please feel free to use the draft message provided below:

My name is [name] and I am a mental health counselor living in [city, state]. I am calling to urge Senator [name] to co-sponsor S. 1879, which authorizes mental health counselors to serve Medicare beneficiaries. Providing Medicare recognition to mental health counselors will increase access to addiction and mental health services, particularly in rural and underserved areas. Please co-sponsor S. 1879 and provide more counselors to address the opioid crisis. Thank you for your support.

Please let us know, at govtaffairs@nbcc.org, what actions you take and any response you receive.

Thank you for your help!

Sincerely,

NBCC Government Affairs Staff

Call to Action for Medicare Provider Recognition of Mental Health Counselors

Advocate for HR 3032 by contacting your member in the House of Representatives now and attend AMHCA’s 2017 Hill Day
Make your voice heard. Support our bill: HR 3032 which will allow Mental Health Counselors to bill Medicare beneficiaries for treatments provided to seniors. AMHCA offers a suggested template for letters to your Representative.
Find our suggested template with instructions on how to message your legislators. Send your message on POPVOX.
Attend Hill Day 2017 and advocate for your profession in person!
Register for AMHCA’s Annual Conference and make the case face-to-face to your members of congress why this is so important. This is a major opportunity to join your professional colleagues on July 27th to meet with your elected officials and strongly advocate for Medicare reimbursement. We will arrange the meetings with your elected officials and prepare all the materials you need to make the case. Don’t let this opportunity slip away.

NBCC Announces A Proposed Uniform Portability Plan for Professional Counselors

PRESS RELEASE: June 5, 2017

COUNSELING ORGANIZATIONS PROPOSE PORTABILITY PROCESS TO INCREASE ACCESS TO CARE

WASHINGTON, DC – A groundbreaking collaborative effort of four major professional counseling organizations aimed at improving access to quality mental health care nationwide has resulted in a proposed uniform portability plan called the National Counselor Licensure Endorsement Process.

The four organizations – the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB), the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) – believe that a uniform licensure endorsement process will:

  • Significantly increase public access to qualified care.
  • Establish minimum standards for safe practice.
  • Reduce administrative burdens for state regulatory boards and licensees.
  • Create consistency in licensure standards across state lines.
  • Ensure protection of the public and the continued development of the profession.

An overarching goal of the initiative is to move the counseling profession toward unified education standards, exam requirements and years of postgraduate experience. To see the National Counselor Licensure Endorsement Process, please go to http://www.amhca.org/portability2017.

Let’s Keep The Momentum Going Forward!

The new year is upon us!  This is the time of year we generally prepare ourselves for ambitious plans, renewing commitments and eliminating clutter.  We have high expectations and great hope for an exciting year that offers us plenty of opportunities to grow and be better versions of ourselves.
In this same spirit, I am very excited to serve as the current president of the Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association, standing on the shoulders of past presidents  that served as impactful leaders in the field of counseling, it is both a privilege and honor to share in those efforts.  We currently have one of the best leadership teams in the state of Michigan that make up the board of MMHCA.  Day in and day out our Executive and General board invests meaningful time, great energy and a wealth of ideas to contribute to the growth of Professional Counselors across the state.  This upcoming year, the MMHCA team is very excited to put our best foot forward in offering Professional Counselors statewide one of the best membership experiences.
MMHCA’s mission is to develop and empower the mental health counseling profession and promote mental health for the community.  This year we intend to offer more diverse programming and supportive networking events that help members connect to like-minded professionals in the field, and develop relationships that can help impact their role as professional counselors.  These events help to bring us together and hear other voices from across the state and learn how we may support each other in the work that we do.  Truly we will accomplish much more as cohesive members of the profession instead of being fractured and spread out without any connection.
Not only do we intend to make meaningful strides in programming, we plan to continue working hard on the advocacy and legislative needs of professional counselors.  Over the past few years the leadership of MMHCA has been able to partner with key lobbying efforts to advocate on behalf of the professional counselor.  The significance of our voice is dependent upon our membership, the more we grow in numbers, the stronger and more solidified our voice becomes.   We need your membership and support to continue to strive for public policy initiatives that serve our professions interest, parity, and portability for our profession.  We are proud to represent and advocate for you the members of MMHCA, as well as, the future members of this great organization.
It is a great time to be a professional counselor in the state of Michigan. We continue to work on projects that have been started years ago, while starting a very worthwhile movement to positively impact our profession. B.F. Skinner said, “It is not a question of starting.  The start has been made.  It is a question of what is to be done from now on”.
We need your help to keep the momentum moving forward!

Courageously,

Napoleon Harrington MA, LPC, NCC