Illinois Mental Health Counselors


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Current Federal Legislation

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 Mental Health Parity Rules Health insurance issuers and employment-based group health plans face new federal requirements to demonstrate their mental health parity compliance.
 Parity Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

Equity Act

National Suicide Hotline Designation Act National Suicide Hotline Designation Act allows states to collect fees, such as those collected for the national 911 emergency hotline, S2661
10/17/2020 Became Public Law No: 116-172.

VA Mental Health Counselor Bill

This historic legislation directs the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to create the first ever federal government classification for mental health counselors, referred to as an Occupational Series. The Series will allow counselors to work in federal government agencies under the title of mental health counselor instead of generic Series that apply to many professions. Social workers and psychologists have had their own Occupational Series for decades and it is past time counselors have the same level of recognition. Creation of an Occupational Series for mental health counselors has been a top federal priority for national counseling organizations for many years and is a hard won success.

S. 785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019,
10/17/2020 Became Public Law No: 116-171. (TXT | PDF)  (All Actions)
 Tricare Tricare Providers
Tricare Fact Sheet
Tricare Certified Mental Health Counselor Requirements

Congress Passes 21st Century Cures Bill

The $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act, which the Senate passed by a vote of 94 to 5 December 7, includes the most significant mental healthcare legislation in 20 years. The House passed the bill last week 392-26. It is headed to President Obama who has said he will sign it into law on December 13th, 2016.

The mental health provisions of the Cures bill fund suicide-prevention programs, mental health services for children, and programs for court-ordered outpatient treatment. It reinforces current laws that require insurers to treat mental illness as they do any other illness in terms of benefits. And it creates a new position in the US Department of Health and Human Services called the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use for coordinating mental health programs across the federal government.

Mental health provisions

Among other provisions, the mental health portion of the bill includes:

  • Creates a new position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse;
  • Establishes new grant programs for early intervention;
  • Directs states to only fund evidence-based mental health initiatives with a proven track record;
  • Removes barriers to individuals accessing mental-health care and services;
  • Promotes jail diversion initiatives and other programs to keep the mentally ill from being incarcerated;
  • Expands access to mental healthcare providers and beds for patients;
  • Requires health insurance companies to cover more mental health treatments;
  • Requires substantial new data collection around mental illness and the criminal justice system.

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 Rachel Banick Association Director
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P.O. Box 706
DeKalb, IL 60115

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