January 9, 2015

Dear WMHCA Members:

As I mentioned in the MHP update in December, the leadership of WMHCA, in conjunction with the
leadership of the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT) and the
Washington Community Mental Health Council (WCMHC), has been working diligently over the last year
to address the disparity in hiring related to the Mental Health Professional (MHP) designation.

We have just learned that licensed associates (either LMHCAs or LMFTAs) are now to be included in the
proposed language change. In essence, this means that the two-year barrier has been eliminated! All
graduates of mental health programs are eligible for an associate license, and, now, all graduates who
elect to become licensure associates following their graduation will automatically be considered MHPs
once the associate license is granted. This compromise significantly levels the playing field for new
professionals, whether they are graduates from social work programs, marriage and family programs, or
mental health counseling programs.

The Washington Mental Health Counselor’s Association works to promote quality mental health
counseling services, maintain a viable and distinct professional identity, and influence public policy
consistent with our professional ethics and values. This victory is a great example of the importance of
state-level participation in your professional community!