A bill sponsored by two Rochester lawmakers, Assemblyman Harry Bronson and Sen. Samra Brouk, will address the shortage of mental health professionals at a time when the need for mental health services is very high. .
A6008 / S5301 would require clinical experience for certain mental health professionals to make diagnoses and create treatment plans.
“This bill would authorize three mental health professions to diagnose and develop treatment plans for people, including children, who may need mental health services,” Bronson told Capital Tonight.
The need for mental health services among children has grown.
“Compared to 2019, the number of mental health-related visits for children aged 5 to 11 and between 12 and 17 increased by approximately 24% for the younger age group and 31% for the elderly, ”he said. explained.
COVID-19 has made the situation even worse.
Categories affect mental health counselors; marriage and family therapists; and psychoanalysts.
According to the bill, all three types of professionals will be required to receive mandatory continuing education.
Bill Gettman, president and CEO of Northern Rivers, told Capital Tonight that in 2002 these professionals received a waiver that allowed them to diagnose patients and create treatment plans.
That sunset exemption in June.
If that legislation doesn’t pass, Gettman said Northern Rivers will have problems.
“Our turnover rate is 35%,” he said. “We have 125 people. If this bill is not passed, these people cannot be allowed to diagnose. In the course of three years, I will have basically eliminated 50% of my mental health programs. ”
Northern Rivers currently has a waiting list of more than 1,000 people who want to enter the clinic.
“If I could hire 50 mental health consultants or more social workers, psychiatrists and the like, I would,” Gettman said. “But they don’t exist out there.”