Please use the links below to access our quarterly e-newsletters, the MMHCA LifeLines.
Please use the links below to access our quarterly e-newsletters, the MMHCA LifeLines.
The Department of Counseling at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, is seeking applicants for a 1-year visiting faculty position available beginning August 15, 2023. The position will be a full-time appointment with the possibility of Summer teaching. Responsibilities include teaching and service activities. A specialist in school counseling is preferred. We will begin reviewing applications on May 15, 2023, and continue reviewing applications until the position is filled. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to experience with our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The new Administrative Rules were filed with the Secretary of State and went into effect on April 26, 2023.
MMHCA has highlighted changes from the previous rule set that you should be aware of. Note that we are not reviewing all the rules, just changes.
338.1751(f): Defines “supervisor” as a Licensed Professional Counselor who has received training in counseling supervision (as defined later in the Rules 338.1781)
338.1751(g): Supervisors must be licensed as professional counselors in Michigan and satisfy requirements to be a supervisor. If the supervisor is out-of-state, they must substantially meet the requirements for a professional counselor license and counselor supervisor in Michigan.
338.1774 (2): For Michigan LLPCs, the supervisor must be a Michigan licensed professional counselor in good standing throughout the period of supervision
338.1781(c): Supervisors beginning to supervise after May 5, 2022 must have acquired not less than 5 years of post-master’s experience in the practice of counseling
338.1774 (c)(i) and (ii): Allows 100 percent of face-to-face supervision hours to be virtual if they allow 2-way real-time audiovisual technology that allows direct contemporaneous interaction supervision by sight and sound between supervisor and supervisee. (Be aware that this requirement requires that you see and hear the supervisee in real time.)
338 .1774 (c)(i) and (ii): Clarifies that LLPCs must be supervised from the time their limited license (LLPC) is issued until their LPC license is issued.
338.1772 (d): Requires that LLPC applicants submit a separate statement identifying their supervisor and the supervisor’s qualifications, including how that supervisor satisfies Michigan requirements to be a supervisor.
338.1777 (4): Hardship exemptions for extending the 10-year period that a limited license may be held are clarified. The process and timeline for such requests, as well as the information the request must include, are explained.
338.1758. Specifies new requirements for providing telehealth services.
December 21, 2020
There is no doubt that 2020 has been an extraordinary year in many ways.
And I know that many of you cannot wait for 2021 to come and put this year behind you.
At AMHCA it has been year of adaptation, flexibility, and resilience – and many accomplishments.
Each member of our staff team worked so hard to think outside of the box and find creative ways to continue to serve clinical mental health counselors (CMHCs). It has been so inspiring to watch everyone dedicate such tremendous amounts of time and energy to finding solutions to the challenges that came up due to the pandemic.
But before I talk about AMHCA and accomplishments on behalf of our members, I want to talk about your accomplishments and thank you for all your contributions to American society during a very difficult year, and your continued support of AMHCA.
Ensuring access to mental health and addiction treatment could not be more urgent or important at this time. As we reported in our meta-study in August, we revealed that symptoms of anxiety disorder were approximately three times higher and prevalence of depression about four times higher among adults during the third quarter of 2020 compared with the same time in 2019. Meanwhile, overdoses have spiked during the pandemic with more than 40 states reporting increased opioid-related deaths. Suicide rates have continued to increase, up 35 percent between 1999 and 2019 with early indications of additional increases in suicides more recently.
The Covid-19 pandemic is uniquely intertwined with behavioral health conditions. Research has found that substance use disorders constitute a risk factor for Covid-19. In addition, recent findings point to increased risk of mental health conditions (anxiety and depression, in particular) among those who contract Covid-19, as well as an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 among those with preexisting mental health conditions.
Since the onset of the pandemic, clinical mental health counselors – serving as primary mental health providers on the frontlines of our behavioral health system — have been intensely focused on implementing many new practices and protocols to address the increased demand for behavioral health care while preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Clinical mental health counselors have developed and implemented new screening measures as well as greatly expanding the use of tele-mental health to provide care.
Your dedication to your clients and resilience have not gone unnoticed as we regularly have discussions with policymakers and stakeholders throughout the health care delivery system about your efforts, who recognize your outstanding caregiving skills as primary mental health caregivers to address the needs of people with mental health conditions during this tough period.
It is honor and privilege to represent you, and thank you for all you do.
In return, I want to highlight what we have tried to do on your behalf on a number of association fronts.
As we have the opportunity to hear from AMHCA members, I am inspired by the incredible work that you continue to do during these difficult times. Through many strenuous challenges, we have learned how to connect and re-connect with each other in new and innovative ways.
However, with all that we have been able to accomplish this year, I am left with a feeling of hope. I know that together, we will continue to push forward, learn, adapt, and grow. Thank you again for what you do.
I hope this holiday season brings you much joy – and wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Joel E. Miller, CEO and Executive Director, American Mental Health Counselors Association
New DHHS Epidemic Order
On 10/30/2020, the previous MDHHS order expires and a new one goes into effect. The new order remains in effect until rescinded.
DHHS is not imposing a stay at home order under the epidemic order issued yesterday, but is placing restrictions on public, workplace and other gatherings. There doesn’t appear to be anything in the latest order that explicitly prohibits an LPC from meeting in-person with a client (so long as face masks and social distancing requirements are met). There also is nothing in the order that requires counseling services to be provided in-person. DHHS is recommending that anyone who can work from home do so. (Please see the attached DHHS infographic on the 10.29.20 order.) We have highlighted relevant provisions in the current order by making them a larger font size.
This order is effective immediately, except for section 8(c), which takes effect on November 2, 2020. This order remains in effect until rescinded. Persons with suggestions and concerns are invited to submit their comments via email to COVID19@michigan.gov.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
Whether fast asleep at home or out jogging in their residential neighborhood, Black people are more vulnerable to experience unparalleled bias and social dangers in American society. The intensity of racism, privilege, and power in our society and its systems has created an undercurrent of prejudice and discrimination as a daily experience.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020
LANSING – To ensure Michiganders are aware of the continued attempts to obtain their personal information, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is drawing attention to an urgent alert issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). This alert warns residents to beware of phishing emails sent to Michigan licensees by scammers impersonating LARA officials.
Michigan licensees refers to anyone who holds a professional license issued by LARA, such as those under the Public Health Code, the Occupational Code and other relevant statutes.
State of Michigan licensees have reported receiving fraudulent emails similar to the example linked here with numerous grammatical errors.
“Scammers will stop at nothing to cheat someone out of their personal information and hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Nessel. “My office provides a library of resources for Michiganders to ensure they know how to spot and stop attempts to rob them of their personal information. We all must look for warning signs such as misspelled words, unrecognizable email addresses and suspicious links in the emails we receive.”
Attorney General Nessel wants consumers to keep the following in mind:
Remember: Do not reply to any suspicious emails and never provide personal information. If personal information is compromised, it may be used to commit identity theft or in other fraud schemes.
More details on how Michiganders can protect their personal information are available on the Consumer Protection Team’s webpage.
IMPORTANT MMHCA UPDATE
Since the Michigan Supreme Court issued its ruling on 10/2/2020 striking down the 1945 law which was the basis of the Governor’s declaration of emergency and related executive orders, our authority to do virtual supervision and provide telehealth has been up in the air. MMHCA has been working with both the Governor’s office and the Legislature to seek clarification.
On 10/9/2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new order which rescinds the order previously issued on 10/5/2020 and which is effective through 10/30/2020. The new order is accompanied by a fact sheet which first defines a workplace gathering as follows: “Gathering means any occurrence where two or more persons from more than one household are present in a shared space. Except for incidental gatherings in a shared space, all gatherings must include 6 feet of social distance between households.”
The fact sheet goes on to say: “Workplace gatherings are prohibited under the following circumstances: it is not necessary to perform job duties; employees not wearing face coverings cannot maintain six feet of distance from others; employees not wearing face coverings occupy the same shared space; if they include any person who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who is subject to a CDC recommendation to isolate or quarantine.”
Because both a counseling session and a clinical supervision session can fall under this definition of “gathering”, and the order stipulates that such gatherings are “prohibited if not necessary to perform job duties”, this seems to give us some authority as LPC’s/LLPC’s to continue to provide telehealth and to do supervision remotely.
And while legislation has been passed stipulating that Medicaid will continue to reimburse for telehealth, it is not clear what private insurers will do. SB 898 provides for the following: “If a service is provided through telemedicine under this section, the insurer shall provide the same coverage for that service as if the service involved face-to-face contact between the health care professional and the patient.”
At a hearing on 10/7/2020, MMHCA Past-President Napoleon Harrington provided compelling testimony In support of this bill on behalf of MMHCA. Other groups testified against the bill. There was no vote on the bill, and a subsequent hearing will be held, probably after the election.
MDHHS issues Emergency Order designed to protect the health and safety of all Michiganders
Directive restricts gatherings, requires face coverings, limits bars and other venues
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon today issued an Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces and places limitations on bars and other venues.
The order follows the Michigan Supreme Court decision on Friday, Oct 2, that invalidated COVID-19 related executive orders. Today’s order relies on authorities that were first enacted after the Spanish Flu of 1918, and that were not at issue in the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision.
“When it comes to fighting COVID-19, we are all in this together. We need Michiganders everywhere to do their part by wearing masks and practicing safe physical distancing so we can keep our schools and small businesses open and protect the brave men and women serving on the front lines of this crisis,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “The epidemic order that Director Gordon issued today is an important step to protect Michiganders across the state from the spread of COVID-19. Let’s all mask up and stay safe.”
Under MCL 333.2253, if the MDHHS director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws. Gordon shares more about the reasoning behind the order in a recent column.
Violations of this order are punishable by a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more than $200, or both. Violations of this order are also punishable by a civil fine of fine of up to $1,000.
“Michigan was hit hard by COVID-19 early in the pandemic,” said Gordon. “Strict preventive measures and the cooperation of Michiganders drove those numbers down dramatically, greatly reducing the loss of life. As we head into flu season, this order is necessary to protect vulnerable individuals, ensure the health care system can provide care for all health issues, keep schools open, and maintain economic recovery.”
Today’s orders largely reinstate, under the department’s authority, three major aspects of prior emergency orders:
In addition, athletes training or practicing for or competing in an organized sport must wear a facial covering, except when swimming, or consistently maintain six feet of social distance.
Pursuant to MCL 333.2235(1), local health departments are authorized to carry out and enforce the terms of this order. Law enforcement officers, as defined in the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Act, 1965 Public Act 203, MCL 28.602(f), are deemed to be “department representatives” for purposes of enforcing this order, and are specifically authorized to investigate potential violations of this order. They may coordinate as necessary with the appropriate regulatory entity and enforce this order within their jurisdiction.
This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through Friday, Oct. 30. Individuals with suggestions and concerns are invited to submit comments via email to COVID19@michigan.gov.
From MMHCA’s Public Policy Committee: The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on 10/2/2020 that the 1945 Law which gave the Governor the authority to declare a state of emergency and related executive orders was unconstitutional. While it is unclear exactly when this ruling will go into effect, there seems to be bipartisan consensus that it is not yet in effect. It is also highly likely that some provisions of the executive orders will continue under alternative authorities.
While this situation is getting sorted out by lawyers and the courts, MMHCA recommends LPCs continue working as they have been for the last several months (teletherapy if possible, providing supervision virtually, etc.).
MMHCA, due to the strong relationships it has built, is in touch in coordination with our lobbyist, with both the Governor’s office and the legislature, which allows us to be informed at the highest level. Please be assured that MMHCA is closely monitoring the situation and will keep you updated and informed in the most timely manner possible.