The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is committed to keeping counselors informed about public policy issues affecting the profession. Our regular posts will highlight legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to counselor employment, reimbursement, funding, and practice rights. Stay tuned to ensure that you are up to date on all the latest counseling initiatives.
NBCC’s Government Affairs staff has begun preparations for the FY20 appropriations season.
With midterm elections completed, national attention is turning toward the next Congress. NBCC’s focus, however, remains unchanged.
Congress has approved sweeping legislation to combat the opioid crisis, and the bill includes student loan repayment assistance to counselors and other behavioral health professionals. The bill now goes to President Trump.
President Trump signed legislation on Sept. 21 that directs the VA to work with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to create an Occupational Series for mental health counselors and a staffing plan for counselors to fill vacant positions in the agency.
Read the inaugural edition of the Counselor Advocacy Networker, NBCC’s exclusive monthly newsletter for counselors who have signed up to be members of the Counselor Advocacy Network. Inside this edition, you’ll find an update on Medicare legislation, a report on VA priorities, and much more!
Reps. John Katko (R-NY-24) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32) have introduced legislation to increase access to counselors and other mental health professionals and address the shortage of behavioral health professionals in rural and underserved areas.
NBCC made meaningful progress on the creation of a federal occupational series for counselors and increasing employment by the Department of Veterans Affairs in a recent spending bill released by Congress.
The opioid crisis has been in the spotlight on Capitol Hill for months, and NBCC has been pressing for inclusion of Medicare legislation in the package.
The President’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposes eliminating SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), which provides scholarships to minority mental health and addiction professionals in counseling and other behavioral health fields.
The NBCC is partnering with other counseling organizations in urging a coordinated grassroots campaign on Medicare legislation. The organizations are working hard to increase constituent contacts with lawmakers.
At a recent congressional briefing held by the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, Rep. John Katko (R-NY) gave an impassionate plea for attendees to support H.R. 3032 and expand access to mental health and addiction treatment for America’s seniors.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16) has introduced H.R 5531, tThe Opioid Emergency Response Act. The bill contains a seven7-point plan to address the opioid crisis, including a section authorizing mental health counselors to serve as Medicare providers.
The Senate passed S. Resolution 447 last week, which recognizes March 22, 2018, as National Rehabilitation Counselors Appreciation Day.
On March 23, President Trump signed H.R. 1625, a massive spending bill that keeps the federal government open through the end of the fiscal year.
The $1.3 trillion spending package passed by Congress and signed by the President contains increased funding for counseling and other behavioral health programs.
NBCC is endorsing the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, which would offer student loan repayment to counselors and other treatment professionals.
NBCC Co-Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Counselor Medicare Legislation.
The NBCC is working with state counseling agencies and licensing boards to fight against proposals by some state legislatures that would deregulate the counseling profession.
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