With the new year comes the start of the new Legislative Session for our elected officials in Albany. In mid-January Governor Cuomo released his budget proposal which launched the NYAMFT advocacy team into action.
On January 29th, an NYAMFT advocacy team including members Jeff Kaplan, Diana Layous Palmer, and Jim Walkup, accompanied NYAMFT lobbyist, Denise Murphy McGraw, and me to meet with legislators in an effort to protect and secure the MFT path to licensure. NYAMFT joined a coalition of 12 behavioral health organizations (#BreakingThe BarriersToCare) formed to increase access to mental health care by eliminating the regulatory barriers that contribute to the mental health workforce shortage across NYS.
In addition to this focus, we have developed an ambitious advocacy agenda for 2018 that includes expanding the LMFT scope of practice to include "diagnosis"; seeking Medicaid coverage for LMFTs who work outside of OMH settings; and ensuring that LMFTs are added to insurance panels statewide.
Written by Carol Podgorski, PhD, NYAMFT's Advocacy Chair.