DIAGNOSIS: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Dear NYMHCA Member:
As you know the biggest issue facing LMHC’s in New York is the lack of the word “diagnosis” in our scope of practice. The lack of the word limits job opportunities, prevents LMHC’s from being hired to do clinical work in VA clinics, and keeps our profession in a one-down position relative to clinical social workers. NYMHCA has worked very hard on this issue for many years and it is imperative that we pass a bill giving us diagnostic authority!
The 2017 numbers for our diagnosis bill are: A.2664 Assemb. DenDekker (democrat) is the Assembly sponsor : S. 3766 St. Sen. Robach (republican) is the Senate sponsor.
~ We are asking that YOU meet with your local NYS state legislators in their home district offices to educate them about the bill and the importance to you of its passage. If you cannot meet with your local legislators, you can also send them a letter or email message.
~ Please consider going to such a meeting with one or two other counselors, maybe from your local NYMHCA chapter!
~ You can use the following link to find the names and contact info for your local NYS legislators
~ It is necessary to begin the process of visits (and contact with) to our legislators so momentum builds over time and when the bill goes up for a vote it has the support of legislators in both houses.
~ While you are visiting and contact your state legislators NYMHCA leaders and our lobbyist will be meeting with key state legislators and state agency officials (such as the Governor’s Office and Senate Program and Counsel’s Office) in Albany to discuss the importance of the bill and its passage.
~ Your legislators are interested in your experiences as a LMHC in his/her district, so take a few minutes to discuss this with them, as well as telling them how the clarity of your authority to diagnose will positively affect your ability to provide mental health services.
~ Ask your legislator to co-sponsor the bill. If they have already done so, thank them for helping to move the bill forward!
~ Email us to be sent a sample letter and printable documents that you can bring to your meetings with your legislators. Or you can visit our NYMHCA Advocacy Center website and download those documents. Click here to go to that page.
~ Please forward to us any questions you have. And PLEASE tell us of visits made to legislators, if they agreed to co-sponsor, and specifically the questions that he/she asked. This will give us a sense of what legislators are thinking about the bill.
~ Email us at: NYMHCA@optonline.net.
Thank you for doing your part in advancing our profession in New York!
Judy Ritterman, NCC, LMHC
New York Mental Health Counselors Association