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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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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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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.   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. 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. 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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Choosing the perfect office space for your private practice might sound exciting at first. But once you get into the nitty gritty, you realize that you might have bit off more than you can chew.   Renting an office space can feel overwhelming, not to mention scary! But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m here to offer 8 tips for choosing the right space, based on my many years of experience doing so: 1. Don't make any sudden decisions. Don’t make a quick decision simply because you feel pressured to do so. You want to make sure you feel comfortable and confident about the space that you choose. Don’t listen to the person insisting “it’s too good of ...
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Years ago, I had a few weeks of back and forth friendly communication with a woman who was selling her counseling practice. Finally, I decided to make an offer… which she flatly responded, “No thank you.”  I was shocked. “Have I offended you?” “No! You’ve been very polite.” “Is it an issue of money?” “No! Your price seems fair to me.” “Has another buyer expressed interest?” “No! There are no other interested parties.”  “Then what!?” “I’ve been a solo practice for a long time. I don’t like the idea of a larger practice taking over.” And that was it. To her, the thought of her practice changing was an outrage, incomprehensible. She left our negotiation ...
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Submitted by @David Bergman The House released its fifth COVID-19 relief package on Tuesday and counselor Medicare language was not included.  While this is a setback, we still have the opportunity to pass of our legislation. At the direction of our congressional champions, AMHCA is now shifting our grassroots advocacy to the Senate. We are urging counselors to take up the charge and contact your Senator to add S. 286 into its COVID-19 package. The Senate timeline is unclear, but they appear on a slower track than the House so there remains time to influence the process. We will not be included in the Senate COVID legislation if U.S. Senators don’t hear ...
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President Trump signed Economic Stimulus Package 3.5 into law on April 24, as the unemployment crisis deepened, a stark illustration of how federal policymakers continue trying to rescue an unraveling economy. The legislation will restart a small-business loan program that was swamped by early demand last month and allocate more funds for health-care providers and virus testing. Policymakers from both parties are already talking about pursuing more large spending bills to try to contain the pandemic’s economic fallout, but this recent measure could be the last one for at least several weeks as disagreements are emerging between the parties about how much more ...
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On March 28, Governor Gary Herbert signed SB 68, which modifies the clinical mental health counselor licensure requirements. The bill establishes the education requirements for licensure in statute, including a master’s or doctoral degree from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counselor and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or a clinical mental health counseling or equivalent degree that meets defined coursework requirements matching CACREP accreditation. The bill also grants a license to those receiving a master's or doctoral degree from an educational program in rehabilitation counseling accredited by CACREP until July 2022. Additionally, ...
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Last Friday, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law . The CARES Act appropriates funding for a number of Americans and their families, small businesses, health care programs and education: Executive Summary $1,200 for every taxpayer making $75,000 per year or less ($150,000 for couples filing jointly) : Taxpayers making between $75,000 and $99,000 per year (and couples over 150,000) will receive smaller direct payments, and those making more than $99,000 per year will not receive a payment. Families will also receive $500 per child. A temporary universal charitable deduction of up to $300: This deduction ...
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During this unique time where your clients may not be able to seek your services in person due to the coronavirus outbreak, we have identified several  resources for locating the laws, rules, and regulations for providing tele-mental health services.  We hope you find these regulations very helpful and informative for providing mental health services from a distance in the state you are licensed or in another state . AMHCA Letter to Health Insurance Industry Associations //higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/AMHCA/UploadedImages/983ec486-ee26-4f43-bb97-680895af340a/Letter_to_Health_Insurance_Industry_Associations__1_.pdf AMHCA Letter to The White House ...
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A recent article in Vox about social distancing points out that the rapid implementation of this overall strategy is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current epidemic from worsening. But it points out that just as the coronavirus fallout threatens to cause an economic recession, it is also going to cause what we might call a “social recession”: a collapse in social contact that hits hard the populations most vulnerable to isolation and loneliness — older adults and people with disabilities or preexisting medical and mental health conditions such as depression, PTSD, bi-polar disorders, anxiety disorders and panic disorders. VOX: “Coronavirus ...
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COVID-19 is already testing public health systems in countries around the world. If the virus spreads further in the U.S., as appears likely based on recent reports, it will put severe stress on our health care system. This stress will be exacerbated—and could become unmanageable—if federal, state, and local governments fail to acknowledge inherent cognitive biases, which can turn reasonable fear into panic and hysteria. If such panic takes hold, our public health systems could be quickly overwhelmed, thus undermining critically important response efforts to COVID-19. AMHCA has urged the federal government to take steps to address the mental health consequences ...
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Each president of AMHCA has an opportunity to select a location and plan a trip during their commitment to the office (President-elect, president, past president). As the current past-president, I have decided to go to Scotland. On May 6th and 7th of 2020, we will be in Edinburgh, Scotland, which for me is a truly magical place. Of course this is a travel opportunity and you may stay as long as you like, but we'd appreciate AMHCA member participation as we visit the University of Edinburgh for planned events. The goal is to have some interchange – learn how they prepare clinical mental health counselors and perhaps understand and compare some of the differences ...
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Have you ever heard of Taxi Magic ? I doubt it. But I know for a fact you’ve heard of Uber—which is essentially the same thing. It just didn’t execute as well. Uber won at effective execution and is now valued at $76 billion.  Let’s talk about Dominos for a moment. In 2010, Dominos was failing, while their competition was thriving. Why? First of all, their competition was putting out a better product. People didn’t like Dominos pizza! Then, they shared customer complaints with the public that bashed their products: complaints that described their food as “cardboard” and it was “the worst excuse for pizza I’ve ever had.” Dominos needed to execute a ...
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Michigan has a new law that protects and strengthens our LPC license. House Bill 4325 passed both the Michigan House and Senate by 100% of the legislators and was signed into law by the Governor on October 29th as Public Act 96 of 2019. When we found out that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) decided to alter our Scope of Practice without the approval of the Board of Counseling, by moving diagnosis, testing and other measures into an educational category, we acted to quickly to mobilize the 10,000 LLPC/LPC’s into action to block the administrative changes that would have likely gone into effect in November of this year and restricted ...
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I’m guessing that managing a professional sports team is a hard job. And I’m guessing that one of the hardest things a coach does is something they have to often: decide who will and who won’t stay on the team. It’s never fun to let someone go, but it’s part of the job, and it’s important for your customers, clients and even other team members that this part of the job is done well. Now, here are a few “don’ts” which serve as tips for managing your team, learned from painful experiences over the years: 1. Don’t ignore performance. Managers need to set clear performance objectives and then measure employee performance against those objectives. This ...
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