Membership Blog

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  • 14 Apr 2022 8:17 PM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)


    DSM-5-TR is here

    The DSM has been revised and is available. Some may wonder what the changes are to the "texts revisions." Best bet? Read it for yourself. Still, some of us like a summary and here are a few options for you to understand what the new revision contains.

    According to medscape, "The American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR), which is not a full revision, only includes one new condition, Prolonged Grief Disorder." and "the goal of the Text Revision was to allow a thorough revision of the text, not the criteria," Paul Appelbaum, MD, chair of the APA's DSM Steering Committee, told Medscape Medical News."

    Here are some links to help you with more...


  • 22 Feb 2022 9:51 PM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)

    The LPPC committee would like to draw your attention to a bill of particular import on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee roster. HB 283 - Mental Health Professional Licensing Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Thurston, proposes the reduction of clinical hours required for licensure among CMHCs, MFTs, and CSWs from 4,000 to 3,000. There are no amendments to any other licensure requirements for mental health professionals at this time. If you would like to review the full text of this bill, you may access that here. This bill was passed in the House and transferred to the Senate on 2/15/2022.

    Learn more here

  • 20 Dec 2021 10:03 AM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)

    Dear Mr. Logsdon: 

    The Utah Mental Health Counseling Association (UMHCA) fully endorses passage of the Counseling Compact by state legislatures. UMHCA advocates for over 1200 licensed clinical mental heatlh counselors in Utah who are licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat mental disorders. 

    UMHCA endorses the Counseling Compact because it provides for: 

     Greater individual and family access to mental health services offered by licensed counselors 

     Consistently high standards of public health safety in the participating 

    states 

     Continuity of care for patients when patients or counselors relocate or travel to other states 

     Military personnel and spouses to maintain their licenses to practice when relocating 

     Increased mobility for fully licensed clinical mental health counselors 

     State licensure that is preserved and strengthened in the respective participating states 

    After reviewing the proposed Counseling Compact legislation, UMHCA recommends compact adoption. The compact maintains standards of public safety while adhering to state ethical and legal mandates. UMHCA urges its members to engage state legislators in supporting the passage of the Counseling Compact. 

    If I can be of further support, please contact me: 

    Sincerely, 

    Anna Lieber, CMHC, NCC/CCMHC 

  • 24 Nov 2021 4:55 PM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)

    UMHCA Statement For Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor

    The Utah Mental Health Counseling Association (UMHCA) Board is deeply saddened by the death of Isabella “Izzy” Faith Tichenor, age 10, who died by suicide on November 6, 2021. According to her mother, Izzy was the victim of ongoing racially and disability-based bullying at her school. This tragic event occurred several weeks after a report from the Department of Justice identified a consistent pattern of racial harassment toward Black and Asian American students within Izzy’s school district.

    UMHCA is an organization committed to addressing disparities in the access to and quality of mental health care services for individuals who have been marginalized based on historical and ongoing systemic injustice, like racism. Tragedies like Izzy’s death amplify the importance of our profession in providing mental health support and suicide prevention resources for individuals, families, and communities who are often under-served and experience a lack of safety in their neighborhoods due to prejudice and hate. Izzy’s suicide also punctuates the compounded stress the global pandemic has on the lives for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who are disproportionately affected by the confluence of racism in the economic, education, medical, and mental health systems.

    The leadership at UMHCA sends our heartfelt condolences to Izzy’s family. We wish to recognize our BIPOC colleagues who are numerically underrepresented in the state of Utah and who are deeply affected by the racial injustices they and their BIPOC clients experience; it is a collective trauma. We send our support to our Black colleagues and communities who are grieving and who must mourn the loss of another Black life. UMHCA wants to encourage all Clinical Mental Health Counselors to seek out the educational, professional, and ethics training needed to provide culturally responsive services to their BIPOC clients. As a professional community, we must work together to cultivate cultural fortitude and multicultural competencies, which will allow us to courageously support and advocate for our clients as well as for our colleagues. UMHCA is committed to creating opportunities for multiculturally oriented dialogue, professional development, and resources with these priorities in mind.

    Here are some resources and training opportunities: 

    Liveonutah.org

    https://utahsuicideprevention.org

    https://healthcare.utah.edu/uni/programs/safe-ut-smartphone-app/

    https://zerosuicide.sprc.org/about

    www.sprc.org

    https://suicidology.org/ 

    http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net 

    https://afsp.org

     https://veterans.utah.edu/training-workshops/ 

    https://livethroughthis.org/

    https://www.sprc.org/resources-programs/calm-counseling-access-lethal-means

    https://www.nctsn.org/  

     Counseling on Access to Lethal Means - Utah (CALM-Utah)

    o    Flyer attached.

    o    www.train.org/utah

    ·         Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)

    o    Flyer attached.

    o    Registration: https://utahdhs.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ewE3gomcwtJpaD4

    ·         Trauma-Informed Approach Training

    o    Trauma Informed Approach Training | DSAMH
  • 8 Jan 2021 6:16 AM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)
    • Mental Health Professional Practice Act rule changes effective November 10, 2020. The rule changes impact: Clinical Mental Health Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapist, Substance Use Disorder Counselors, and Social Workers.

      Utah State Bulletin: https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2020/b20201001.pdf

      Key Changes: 

    • 1.       Supervisors & supervisees are required to enter into a supervision contract and must be kept on file with the supervisor.
    • 2.       Supervisors are required to submit a Verification of Supervision for Post Graduate Mental Health Practice Hours from to the Division.  https://dopl.utah.gov/cmhc/verify_supervised_experience.pdf
    • a.      The form can be found on DOPL dopl.utah..gov  SW, CMHC, MFT and SUDC website’s by going to “Licensing”, then “Additional Forms”
    • 3.      Regardless of how long you have been supervised, you will need to turn in this form to the Division
    • 4.      DOPL will inform the Supervisor via letter that the form has been received and the supervisor may proceed with supervision. If the supervisor does not qualify, DOPL will contact both the Supervisor and Supervisee.
    • 5.       There are new profession-specific Supervision for Post Graduate Mental Health Practice Hours forms (on DOPL website)ACMHC https://dopl.utah.gov/cmhc/cmhc_supervision_for_post-graduate_mental_health_practice_hours.pdf

    • 6.      Previous hours obtained under supervision before the rule change will be accepted. Supervision hours documented on the old form prior to the rule change will still be accepted.
    • 7.      Clinical Mental Health Counselors are now required to take the NCE & NCMHCE exams for full licensure.
    • National Counselor Examination (NCE). The registration and administration of this exam is processed through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). To register for this exam, please visit the link below
    • Exam Registration
    • NCE Candidate Handbook
    • National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE). The registration and administration of this exam is processed through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). To register for this exam, please visit the link below
    • ·  Exam Registration

      ·  NCMHCE Candidate Handbook

    • 8.       All Continuing Education can be found in the Mental Health Professional Practice Act Rule.
  • 27 Sep 2020 9:21 AM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)

    In a recent posting by AMHCA, they state:


    Congress Passes Landmark VA Mental Health Counselor Bill

    September 24, 2020

     

    Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved S. 785, sending a major VA mental health and counseling bill to President Trump for signature.  The bill is the most significant new legislation for the counseling profession in over a decade and a tremendous advancement for mental health counselors working for the federal government, and particularly the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    This historic legislation directs the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to create the first ever federal government classification for mental health counselors, referred to as an Occupational Series. The Series will allow counselors to work in federal government agencies under the title of mental health counselor instead of generic Series that apply to many professions. Social workers and psychologists have had their own Occupational Series for decades and it is past time counselors have the same level of recognition. Creation of an Occupational Series for mental health counselors has been a top federal priority for national counseling organizations for many years and is a hard won success.

    S. 785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019, also takes several steps to increase the hiring, training, and advancement of mental health counselors within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill requires the Comptroller General of the United States to prepare a study on staffing levels of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists. The study will identify “impediments to carry out the education, training, and hiring of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists”, as well as a “description of the objectives, goals, and timing of the Department with respect to increasing the representation of such counselors and therapists.” The bill also creates scholarships for counselors interested in working for the VA Readjustment Counseling Program.AMHCA lobbying firm, Bergman Strategies, worked closely with Members and staff from the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees to develop and advance this important legislation. AMHCA was the only counseling organization to help shepherd this bill through both chambers, but partnered with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy / California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.   

    Image

    S. 785 was introduced by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), the Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC). These Senators are long-term champions for increased recognition of mental health counselors, Senator Moran having introduced the original House bill that opened the VA to the profession in 2006. The SVAC passed the bill in December 2019, but the bill really started to gain steam when it passed the Senate on August 5, 2020. 

    AMHCA and AAMFT/CAMFT lobbyists had been working with the House Veteran Affairs Committee (HVAC) on companion legislation, but efforts intensified after Senate passage. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT) introduced H.R. 8145 on September 1, a standalone bill that matched the counselor components in S. 785. The legislation was included in a September 10 hearing and September 17 markup. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) and his staff showed strong commitment to the counselor legislation and ensured that it was maintained throughout the process.

    S. 785 will be sent to President Trump for signature. The legislation requires creation of the counselor Occupational Series within one year from enactment. There is no timeframe for the Comptroller report on VA staffing, but it must be reported to the House and Senate Committees within 90 days of completion.

    The passage of legislation to create an Occupational Series for mental health counselors is a tremendous success for the counseling profession and AMHCA is proud to have played such a pivotal role in its achievement. The Series will increase federal government recognition and hiring of mental health counselors. S. 785 will also expand employment and training of mental health counselors within the VA, a long-term priority of the association. AMHCA wants to thank Senators Tester and Moran, as well as Representatives Takano, Brownley, and Hayes for their commitment to this important legislation.

  • 31 Aug 2020 12:32 PM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)
  • 31 Aug 2020 12:30 PM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)

    AMHCA released a major report today on the number of Americans reporting mental health distress over the last few months.  Please see our new study – Beyond A Perfect Storm – How Racism, Covid-19, and Economic Meltdown Imperil Our Mental Healthand our press release on the study.

    Based on the AMHCA report, nearly 41 percent of adults nationally are reporting that they are suffering from a mental health disorder -- or about 103 million adults in the U.S.

    The AMHCA study is based on surveys developed by the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease and Prevention, and the National Center for Health Statistics. For more information, please see the link below to a key table through the Census Bureau Pulse Survey.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/pulse/mental-health.htm

    Please scroll through the chart and you will find specific information by your state as well. For your convenience, we also have listed the percentage of adults reporting mental health disorders by AMHCA State Chapter below.

    For more information about the study, please contact me at 703-548-4474

    State                   % Reporting Mental Health Disorders

    AL                        33.9

    AR                       43.5

    CT                        35.1

    DC                       36.1

    FL                        40.5

    GA                       40.0

    IA                         37.8

    ID                         45.5

    IL                          43.2

    IN                         42.0

    KY                        26.6

    LA                        43.1

    MA                       35.2

    MD                       39.3

    ME                       37.8

    MI                         40.7

    MO                       37.9

    MS                       48.0

    MT                       36.0

    NC                       39.5

    ND                       33.8

    NH                       40.7

    NJ                        37.6

    NM                       47.5

    NY                       41.1

    OH                       37.1

    OK                       44.1

    PA                        31.8

    RI                         44.5

    SC                       42.3

    SD                       35.4

    TN                        43.6

    TX                        35.5

    UT                        37.8

    VA                        38.3

    VT                        33.2

    WA                       43.8

    WV                       37.0

    Joel E. Miller
    Executive Director and CEO
    American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)

  • 12 Feb 2019 9:24 AM | Jim Macedone (Administrator)


    For Immediate Release
    Jan. 31, 2019

    CONTACT: 
    Barrasso Press Office (Barrasso) – (202) 224-6441
    Miranda Margowsky (Stabenow) – (202) 224-1437

    Barrasso, Stabenow Introduce Bipartisan Mental Health Access Improvement Act

    Bill will expand access to mental health services for our nation’s seniors.

    WASHINGTON, DC –Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) reintroduced the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 286). The bill would allow America’s seniors access to marriage and family therapists (MFTs) and licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs) through Medicare. By providing these mental health professionals the opportunity to participate in the Medicare program, this bill expands the number of mental health providers available to our nation’s seniors.  

    “As a doctor, improving access to mental health care is an important personal priority of mine. I am proud to once again join with Senator Stabenow to introduce the Mental Health Access Improvement Act,” said Barrasso. “This bipartisan legislation expands the number of mental health providers working in the Medicare program. This will make it easier for our nation’s seniors, especially those living in rural areas, to get the care they need closer to home.”

    “One in five Americans struggle with some kind of mental illness and older Americans are no exception,” said Stabenow. “Our bill makes it easier for seniors to have access to the mental health care they need.”

    U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA-05) and John Katko (R-NY-24) introduced the companion bill to S. 286 in the House of Representatives. 

    In the United States alone, 20 percent of individuals ages 55 and older experience some type of mental health concern. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, there are more than 5,000 Mental Health Professionals Shortage Areas in the United States, and half of all counties in the U.S. have no practicing psychiatrists or psychologists. Seniors in rural communities are the most adversely affected by these shortage areas. 

    The Mental Health Access Improvement Act lifts restrictions on certain mental health professionals that bar them from billing Medicare. This will increase access to existing mental health professionals and allow them to treat America’s seniors.


    Utah Mental Health Counselors Association

  • 11 Jan 2019 6:37 PM | Anonymous
    1. House Democrats seek authorization to intervene in ACA lawsuit (January 02, 2019) House Democrats introduced a package of rules for the 2019 session that includes a provision calling for authorization to intervene in Texas v. United States, the lawsuit that seeks to dismantle the ACA.

    2. Judge who struck down ObamaCare says it will remain in place during appeal process (12/30/18). The federal judge who struck down ObamaCare earlier this month issued an order on Sunday saying it will remain in place during the appeal process.

    3. Surgeon General Calls for Reversing the 'Epidemic' of Youth Vaping in Rare Advisory (December 18, 2018). With teen vaping rates at an all-time high, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams took the rare step Tuesday of issuing a public health advisory to address the “epidemic” of youth e-cigarette use, and propose prevention strategies ranging from better education to legal restrictions on the products’ use.

    4. Drug use during pregnancy not child abuse: Pennsylvania top court (Dec 28, 2018) Reuters - A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Friday that mothers who use illegal drugs during their pregnancies are not committing child abuse against their newly-born children.

    5. What exactly is CPT Code 96127? (09Jan19) CPT Code 96127 is a code that may be used to report brief behavioral or emotional assessments for reimbursement. These assessments may include any standardized screening instruments that will provide both scoring and further documentation to the healthcare provider.

    6. When Will We Solve Mental Illness? (November 30, 2018) The New York Times. — Biology was supposed to cure what ails psychiatry. Decades later, millions of people with mental disorders are still waiting.

    7. Another Mass Shooting? 'Compassion Fatigue' Is A Natural Reaction (November 9, 2018) — (NPR) As the incidents of mass shootings in the U.S. occur, some people are starting to feel numbed by them. Psychologists says this is normal.

    8. Top 25 Best Mental Health Apps: An Effective Alternative for When You Can't Afford Therapy? (26Oct18) We highlight the best mental health apps for 2018 and hear from the experts just how effective they are as an alternative treatment.
    9. New Concept: Forensic Evaluation Training for Asylum Seekers. “The Human Rights Initiative at UB is a medical student run organization that was founded to address the needs of survivors of torture who are seeking asylum in the Western New York area and beyond. Our expanding network of physicians, medical students, licensed mental health providers, social workers, lawyers and others, works to perform physical, gynecological and psychological forensic evaluations for individuals who have been tortured or persecuted in their native countries and are now applying for asylum in the United States. These evaluations can be lifesaving for our clients; individuals are more likely to be granted asylum in the United States with documentation of the physical or psychological evidence of the torture they experienced.” 
    10. Frontiers/Controversy: The Harms of Male Circumcision. Childhood male circumcision is a contentious topic in American culture, but social work literature rarely, if ever, references it. Social work's disinclination to examine circumcision is incongruent with the profession's role as child welfare experts and advocates. Discussing the circumcision of boys touches on several topics, each of which is emotionally charged. Circumcision has implications about human sexuality, body sovereignty, religious minority rights, medical ethics, childhood trauma, rights of men and intersex people. These subjects elicit passionate opinions and social workers are as prone to emotional responses as the general American population.  Despite our different opinions and passions on the topic, social work could provide a unique and useful perspective congruent with our role as child welfare advocates. Early childhood trauma (even if it can't be consciously recalled) can have a lasting negative effect. 
    11. Mental Health & Law: NAMI And Others File Lawsuit Against The Short-Term, Limited Duration Plan Final Rule. “In partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans and other organizations, NAMI filed suit today to invalidate the federal short-term, limited duration (STLD) insurance plan rule issued last month by three federal agencies.” 
    12. Mental Health & Law: Mental Health Parity At Risk. “NAMI released a report highlighting the impossible barriers millions of Americans living with mental health and substance use disorders faced prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).” 
    13. Standard of Practice: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) “Within the many acronyms used for POLST, the P can stand for: Professional (including Physician Assistant, Advance Practice Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians, and other health care Professionals), Patient, Preferences, Palliative. All adults should have advance directives to help guide their future health care plans and identify a surrogate decision maker. A POLST form is for when you become seriously ill or frail and its purpose is to provide medical orders to emergency personnel based on your current medical situation. POLST forms and advance directives are both advance care plans but they are not the same.” 
    14. New Concept: Person-Driven Health Outcomes. “With funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation and The SCAN Foundation, NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) has developed an approach to individualized measurement for complex populations that is based on measuring how well organizations are helping individuals achieve personalized goals for their health and life. We call this approach person-driven outcomes.” 


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