October 2023 Update

  • Thursday, October 19, 2023 4:21 PM
    Message # 13269454
    Aaron Norton (Administrator)

    Renaming Interns

    We're thrilled to announce that SB 210 was filed on 10/16/23 by Senator Burgess.  If passed, this bill will rename "registered mental health counselor interns" as "licensed associate mental health counselors." 

    We believe this title change will (1) contribution to the universalization of counseling terminology, as more states use "licensed associate" verbiage than "intern" verbiage, (2) clear up confusion among the public, allied health practitioners, and legislators who mistakenly believe that registered interns are college students, and (3) render the statute requiring registered interns who work in private practice to have a licensed mental health professional on the premises when providing clinical services (even if those services are delivered via telehealth) obsolete. 

    However, all other requirements for interns remain the same (i.e., must have a qualified supervisor, meet with supervisor at least once every 2 weeks, provide at least 1,500 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy and 100 hours of face-to-face supervision in no less than 100 weeks, etc.). 

    Although it hasn't been filed yet, we have secured a verbal commitment from Rep. Koster to file the house companion bill, and we're feeling very optimistic about this bill.

    FMHCA's Government Relations Committee (GRC) will be announcing some opportunities to help lobby for this bill, so stay tuned.

    Other Bills of Importance

    FMHCA's GRC is also monitoring and analyzing the following bills that are relevant to our profession:

    SB 66: Naloxone Awareness Day

    Naloxone Awareness Day; Citing this act as “Victoria’s Law”; designating June 6 of each year as “Naloxone Awareness Day”; authorizing the Governor to issue an annual proclamation; encouraging the Department of Health to hold events to raise awareness of the dangers of opioid overdose and the availability and safe use of naloxone as an effective way to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose, etc.

    SB 68: Social Work Licensure Compact

    Social Work Licensure Compact; Creating the Social Work Licensure Compact; specifying requirements for state participation in the compact; requiring member states to designate the categories of social work licensure which are eligible for issuance of a multistate license in such states; establishing the Social Work Licensure Compact Commission; providing for commission enforcement of the compact, etc.

    SB 70: Public Records and Meetings/Social Work Licensure Compact

    Public Records and Meetings/Social Work Licensure Compact; Providing an exemption from public records requirements for certain information held by the Department of Health or the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling pursuant to the Social Work Licensure Compact; authorizing the disclosure of such information under certain circumstances; providing an exemption from public records requirements for recordings, minutes, and records generated during the closed portions of such meetings; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemptions; providing statements of public necessity, etc.

    SB 164: Solutions for Mental Health Professional Shortages

    Solutions for Mental Health Professional Shortages; Establishing a mental health profession scholarship and loan forgiveness program within the Department of Health for a specified purpose; providing for applicant eligibility and the award of scholarships; specifying service obligations for scholarship recipients; providing for applicant eligibility and the award of loan repayments, etc.

SunCoast Mental Health Counselors Association

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