We need your help!
The American Counseling Association (ACA) needs your help to encourage members of Congress to support H.R. 1109 the Mental Health for Student Act. Congressional Mental Health Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) and John Katko (R-NY), along with 56 original co-sponsors, proudly introduced H.R. 1109, the Mental Health Services for Students Act, to fund on-site mental health services for youth in schools nationwide.
Please contact your elected representatives to urge them to support this important bill and share your perspective as a Licensed Professional Counselor. As a mental health care provider, you know the impact early care can have, and the importance of being able to access mental and behavioral health support in your community.
How you can help
Message your representatives here or you can also call the U.S. Capitol at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to someone in your representatives' offices. A phone call is sure to get the attention of someone in a Congressional office and you can also let them know about your role as a licensed professional counselor.
Once passed, the Mental Health Services for Students Act would:
• Provide access to more comprehensive on-site mental health care services for students and their communities by revising, increasing funding for, and expanding the scope of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Project AWARE Grants for State Educational Agencies which promote youth mental health awareness among schools and communities and improved connections to services for school-age youth.
• Allow teachers to concentrate on teaching by providing comprehensive, culturally and linguistically appropriate services to support students in need of mental health care and those at-risk for behavioral mental health disorders.
• Promote positive mental health education and support for parents, siblings, and other family members of children with mental health disorders, as well as concerned members of the community.
• Create a total of $200 million in grant funding as well as educate the entire school community on the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness to help identify and treat mental health issues before they escalate.
The American Counseling Association needs your help in encouraging Members of Congress to cosponsor the Mental Health Access Act Improvement. This measure would include licensed professional counselors (LPCs) as covered Medicare providers. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Senate bill on January 31st. Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Congressman John Katko (R-NY) introduced the House bill the same day.
Why this bill is important.
Medicare does not include licensed professional counselors in its coverage. Medicare beneficiaries are often at higher risk for mental health problems, such as depression and opioid addiction, yet older Americans are the least likely to receive mental health services. Only 1 in 5 older Americans receive needed mental health care, according to NAMI.
Medicaid recipients can see an LPC and Medicaid will cover them-until they reach 65. Many individuals with private health insurance have mental health coverage but, once they retire, find that they can no longer afford to see an LPC. The passage of this legislation will enable Medicare to help the 4 out 5 seniors currently not receiving much-needed mental health care.
You can help ACA pass this bill this year!
Ask your senators and your House member to cosponsor the Mental Health Access Improvement Act.
Click on the link below to send an email to them. You can add your own thoughts to the message.
You can also call the U.S. Capitol at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to someone in your representatives' offices. A phone call is sure to get the attention of someone in a Congressional office and you can also let them know about your role as a licensed professional counselor.
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
Explore this topic and more in the January issue of Journal of Counseling & DevelopmentHere
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