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In April 2020, when the pandemic lockdowns began, parents across the nation discovered how vital teachers were to the functionality of our society. Two years later, our nation is now beginning to recognize the second wave of the COVID crisis, the mental health crisis. Our citizenry and our legislators are now recognizing the need for increased mental health access and more mental health providers. The necessity for increased funding, improved access, and more providers has become the hot issue of the day.
As many of you know, over the last 15 years, CAMFT, as well as its Mental Health Coalition, has introduced the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828 and H.R. 432) to Congress every two years in the pursuit of obtaining reimbursement rights for marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors as providers in the Medicare program.
The Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on our collective mental health, and the emphasis on the necessity for mental health access has created a new window of opportunity for passage of the Act. Congress and the Biden Administration are considering an array of policy proposals to strengthen the behavioral health workforce as part of overall mental health policy reforms such as ensuring mental health parity.
Yes, we’ve seen progress before, and we’ve had near passages of the Act. But now we visibly feel the increased momentum to advocate for MFTs becoming Medicare providers. We need our members to hold strong and continue to fight the good fight with us. Although there is wider interest and key forces are aligned, we need your continued help and support. We know that you have been asked to contact your members of Congress on several occasions but this year presents a unique time and complacency could be dangerous.
In this next week, the Mental Health Coalition is organizing another nation-wide push to advocate for passage of the Mental Health Access Improvement Act! We invite all CAMFT members to join in this action week by visiting our Legislative Action Page and writing to your Senators and Representative.
By reaching out to your members of Congress on a regular basis, you can assure the policy and political window remains open and our bill passes through; allowing you to become recognized as a Medicare mental health provider. The time to act is now – and potentially time and time again this year until we get over the finish line.
Thank you for all you do, and for joining with us to advocate for mental health access and MFTs!
Wishing everyone continued health and healing as we head into spring.
Cathy Atkins, JD
Deputy Executive Director
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Have you ever thought about sharing your knowledge and skill while supplementing your income? Now is the perfect time to become a CAMFT-Approved Continuing Education Provider! APPLY TODAY!
If you submit your Initial Application by March 31st, you will receive a 15% discount!
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We’ve updated our Pre-licensed Corner webpage with even more relevant articles, needed forms, informational videos and, of course, our paid Job Site Directory. Check out the Pre-licensed Corner today!
Reconnect with colleagues at CAMFT's annual conference on Friday, May 20th at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center. Can’t make it to Los Angeles? View it on-demand! Click here for more information.
Searching for more CE or other topics? Click here to search a variety of clinical and legal and ethical workshop recordings that you can complete at your convenience.
Want to attend a workshop or event by your local chapter? Click here for a list of Chapter events occurring in May.
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LA-CAMFT's Mission of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Click here to read more.
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