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AMHCA is pleased to welcome the 45 th   President of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), Dr. Beverly Smith. Dr. Smith has professional counseling experience in various settings including private practice, public education, corrections, community counseling, and in higher education. She is the owner and principal therapist of BSmith Consulting Group, LLC. Dr. Smith is an adjunct professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mercer University teaching Psychopathology & Diagnosis, Cultural Perspectives in Counseling, and Ethics. She is a proud two-time graduate of Tuskegee University (B.S.-Biology, M.Ed.-Counseling & Higher ...
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AMHCA is pleased to welcome the 45 th President of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), Dr. Beverly Smith. Dr. Smith has professional counseling experience in various settings including private practice, public education, corrections, community counseling, and in higher education. She is the owner and principal therapist of BSmith Consulting Group, LLC. Dr. Smith is an adjunct professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mercer University teaching Psychopathology & Diagnosis, Cultural Perspectives in Counseling, and Ethics. She is a proud two-time graduate of Tuskegee University (B.S.-Biology, M.Ed.-Counseling & Higher Education) ...
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Alexandria, VA – The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) has announced that he will be retiring effective July 9, 2021.   Joel E. Miller, M.S. Ed., has led over 7,000 clinical mental health counselors who play a critically important impact on the lives of Americans with behavioral health conditions since 2013. Mr. Miller has been responsible for all operations of the organization and implementing strategic initiatives in support of the Board of Directors. He is the publisher of AMHCA’s Journal of Mental Health Counseling and The Advocate Magazine as well as many other research studies, ...
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Dear AMHCA Members, This communication is to inform you that I have decided to retire as Executive Director and CEO of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, effective July 9, 2021.   It has been my honor to lead AMHCA these past eight years and serve the thousands of clinical mental health counselors around the country who in turn serve as primary mental health providers for your clients.  I have had only one overarching mission: To address the needs and promote the interests of AMHCA members every single day.  The services you provide on behalf of your clients are so critically important to alleviate suffering and distress, that I ...
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Thank you CounselingSchools.com and Matt Tyler Zbrog for interviewing AMHCA's Executive Director and CEO for this great article on advocacy leading up to Mental Health Month! Read the full article: https://www.counselingschools.com/blog/mental-health-month-advocacy-guide #mentalhealthcounsleing #mentalhealthmonth #advocacy #mentalhealth #counseling #counselors
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The past year saw the word “unprecedented” thrown around a lot, and rightly so. In the transition to virtual programming, associations like AMHCA had to be extra clever and resourceful when it came to meetings and events – the aspects of membership that had traditionally been contingent on the face-to-face. The AMHCA Board of Directors decided in February that we should hold our conference in June 2021 virtually rather than in-person -- or through a hybrid model. At that time, based on all the surveys we conducted, members were still not comfortable attending in person, and public health officials were providing guidance that it was not going to be safe to ...
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At AMHCA, we recognize that a virtual event is different from an in-person event. There are things you miss by not being in person, but there are things you gain by being virtual. For me, there are less hugs, not as many snacks (or maybe more), and not as many opportunities for those sidebar networking moments that are so loved at an AMHCA conference. How I miss hugs from colleagues I work with weekly but see just once a year. I regret my inability to make food as good as the 2016 New Orleans conference (beignets for days!) or snacks as good as the 2017 DC conference (anyone else remember that flavored popcorn bar?). I won’t be making a new connection on the ...
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Bipartisan legislation that would include licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), as well as licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), as Medicare providers, has just been introduced in the United States Senate. The Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2021, S. 828, was introduced in the Senate by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Representative John Katko (R-NY) introduced the companion legislation (HR 432) in January in the House . This bipartisan legislation would require Medicare to finally recognize LMHCs as Medicare-eligible providers of covered behavioral health ...
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I would like to congratulate Dr. Beverly Smith, AMHCA’s President-Elect and Chair of the Conference Planning Committee, and all the members of the committee, for their outstanding and hard work in organizing this year’s AMHCA’s Virtual Conference Program “UNITE! – RECOGNIZE. REFRAME. RESTORE.” from June 14-25, 2021. As our program highlights, we are truly living our conference theme by: RECOGNIZING the current situation, REFRAMING our way of thinking about our conference, and RESTORING the quality and engagement that is unique and important to AMHCA conferences. UNITE with us as we adapt and push forward with new innovations and perspectives at our Annual ...
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First, we hope everyone is safe, warm and healthy.     AMHCA has, again, been faced with a difficult decision this year regarding our conference.    After thoughtful discussion with the Board of Directors and a member survey, we have decided to move our 2021 Conference to a fully virtual experience.      We considered cost, safety, and timing of a virtual event. Our biggest concern was safety, and we took into account current trends in vaccinations across the nation and the world, multiple strains and looking at the safety protocols of Nevada and the hotel specifically. The safety of everyone is our utmost priority. For AMHCA, we believe this ...
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Alexandria, VA – The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) has proposed a new portability arrangement that will guide states and Licensure Counseling Boards to best address the needs of people with mental health conditions and mental health counselors around the country.   The new process called the “Counselor Licensure Interstate Portability Endorsement and Reciprocity” (CLIPER) Plan, will allow states to determine the best approach to: Significantly increase public access to qualified care. Establish minimum standards for safe practice. Reduce administrative burdens for state regulatory boards and licensees. Create consistency ...
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Bipartisan legislation that would include licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), as well as licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), as Medicare providers, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2021, HR 432 , was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Representative John Katko (R-NY). This bipartisan legislation would require Medicare to finally recognize LMHCs as Medicare-eligible providers of covered behavioral health services to older adults and other Medicare beneficiaries. AMHCA would like to thank Representatives Thompson and ...
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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 ...
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Thriveworks Counseling conducted a survey of 275 mental health professionals. Based on survey results, the most prevalent mental health issues resulting from the election are stress and fear.   About 81% of participants said their clients are currently talking about election-related stress and approximately 78% said that their clients report feeling fearful of the outcome. Additionally, US adults in counseling are feeling depressed as well as hopeless. Nearly 66% of respondents said their clients have reported depression symptoms related to the election and 56% said their clients have reported feeling hopeless about it.   Read more about ...
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On October 17, 2020, President Trump signed S. 785, which mandates the creation of a federal government classification for mental health counselors and pressures the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase its hiring of the profession. AMHCA is very proud of its leadership role in this tremendous success for the counseling profession. Passage of S. 785 is the most significant legislative accomplishment for mental health counselors since legislation to add the profession to the Minority Fellowship Program in 2011. AMHCA Legislative Affairs consultant,  @David Bergman , posted an  #AdvocacyUpdates  in the  AMHCA community today.  AMHCA lobbying ...
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On October 17, 2020, President Trump signed S. 785, which mandates the creation of a federal government classification for mental health counselors and pressures the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase its hiring of the profession. AMHCA is very proud of its leadership role in this tremendous success for the counseling profession. Passage of S. 785 is the most significant legislative accomplishment for mental health counselors since legislation to add the profession to the Minority Fellowship Program in 2011.   Creation of an Occupational Series for mental health counselors has been a decade’s long priority for national counseling organizations. ...
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Today, 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. AMHCA Legislative Affairs consultant,  @David Bergman , posted an  #AdvocacyUpdates  in the  AMHCA community today.  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 ...
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Today, 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 ...
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Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved HR 945 in an historic vote supporting Medicare coverage for the counseling profession. While this legislation has passed both the House and Senate twice over the years, never before has the bill been voted on as a standalone measure rather than part of a broader package. AMHCA Legislative Affairs consultant, @David Bergman , posted an #AdvocacyUpdates in the AMHCA community today.   Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr’s (D-NJ) opening remarks described HR 945 as “bipartisan legislation that would improve access to mental health providers in the Medicare program by covering mental ...
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Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved HR 945 in an historic vote supporting Medicare coverage for the counseling profession. While this legislation has passed both the House and Senate twice over the years, never before has the bill been voted on as a standalone measure rather than part of a broader package. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr’s (D-NJ) opening remarks described HR 945 as “bipartisan legislation that would improve access to mental health providers in the Medicare program by covering mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist services.” The sponsors of HR 945, Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) ...
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