Getting NY’s Kids’ Care

With the opioid crisis, gun violence, bullying and a host of other social and peer issues impacting our children and teens, having unimpeded access to mental health services is more important than ever.

The legislative proposals to change the licensed mental health practitioner exemption will make it even more difficult for children and their parents to get the services they need. Right now, services are accessible because the process has been streamlined. More mental health professionals work in teams to tackle the issues affecting our children, teens and family.

The licensed mental health practitioner exemption has been in place for 14 years and has helped provide access to mental health care to children and teens in need of care. The exemption has helped to foster progressive and positive reforms that have built a diverse mental health workforce with diverse skills and experiences. This workforce, while not as robust as needed, has provided effective treatment for children and their families. Getting rid of the licensed mental health practitioner exemption will undermine this workforce and hurt the most vulnerable among us–our children and teens.

The licensed mental health practitioner exemption guarantees that two mental health professionals will sign off on a diagnosis and treatment plan. It also guarantees that care will not be delayed. Revoking the exemption will tie up children’s and teens’ access to mental health care in bureaucratic red tape that will make care delivery even more difficult.