Refresh Mental Health participated in the American Counseling Association’s Day on the Hill on July 12, 2018. Refresh’s Vice President of Marketing & PR and Founder of Urban Balance, Joyce Marter, participated in legislative advocacy along with nearly 200 other state branch counseling association leaders from across the country.
Marter and the other counseling leaders met with state Senators and members of Congress, to request support for:
• Promoting access to services for the elderly by supporting S. 1879 Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act & H.R. 3032 Mental Health Access Improvement Act. These bipartisan initiatives will increase access to mental health care and will permit licensed counselors to be reimbursed by Medicare. Licensed counselors are currently eligible for reimbursement for virtually all private insurance companies, but not Medicare. Including counselors as providers would increase the number of eligible providers significantly, promoting access to quality clinical care for the elderly. This is especially important due to the opioid epidemic and the need for more providers to address this national crisis.
• Additional school counseling funding for our children by asking for support of the FY 2019 Labor, HHS Appropriations bill that provides $1.2 billion in funding for students to gain more access to mental health services, for schools to hire more school counselors, and for schools to create healthy and safe school environments to end school violence.
• Support of H.R. 1757 Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act of 2017 which is an initiative that recognizes the needs people have after they face trauma, including, but not limited to, community violence, domestic violence, and violence in schools. The need to provide mental health services for people who have experienced trauma was highlighted using case examples drawn from the counselors’ professional experiences.
Refresh Mental Health continues to support the counseling profession and the clients we serve through multiple efforts, including but not limited to Marter’s work as the Chair of the Midwest Region of the American Counseling Association and Refresh exhibiting at the American Counseling Association conference in March of 2019 in New Orleans.