From the Presidents Desk:
What a pleasure it is to begin our 2018/2019 service year with a new executive team, Marianne Marlow, President (that’s me!), Kyle Williams, treasurer, and Kaleb Kittrell, secretary, and board members Aphrodite Beidler, Ellen Carruth, Karen Langer, Oladunni Oluwoye, Shannon Thompson, Susan Leveridge, and new board member Susan Fee, and two new positions for WMHCA to support the board and create a brand new structure for our organization. But first, a look to our past, with a great deal of gratitude. Toni Aswegan, our past-president provided us with a fresh perspective and renewed energy that helped our organization pivot and focus on a simpler and more streamlined structure to WMHCA that positions us to for the initiatives consistent with what you indicated through our survey are most important to you. Our goal this year is: ‘YOU ASKED, WE ANSWERED’. We identified three areas of focus to develop strategy for to provide greatest value to our members: 1) Legislative action and attention, 2) Training/CEUs, and 3) Membership expansion. There are positions still open on the board and we invite you to come and share your talents.
The next very exciting change occurring for WMHCA are two new positions. One is for Shannon Thompson, our former training and development chair. Shannon will support WMHCA even further by taking on a newly developed role: WMHCA Education and Advocacy Director. She is focused on our training and legislative issues with an eye on further development of our online training presence and also streamlining the CE process. Stay tuned for Shannon’s updates – she has an energetic, passionate, and down-to-earth style with a can-do attitude that will really help to advance and elevate our chapter. Sara Oppler, is also pivoting from the board assistant to Business Operations Director in an expanded role that will provide even more focused support to our membership and structural guidance for our programming and processes.
And finally, key updates from the AMHCA 2018 conference: In addition to some really great program content, this conference highlighted some trends for us to pay attention to in WA and nationally. Stay tuned for upcoming updates that we will include in newsletters.
Passage of Medicare provider recognition for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists.
Increase professional unification among the states: education, training/supervision standards/portability.
Increase VA hiring of licensed professional mental health counselors.
Expand federal (Public Health Services Act) definition of the mental health workforce.
Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Treatment Recognition.
Increase collaboration on unification with American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB), Association for Counseling Education and Supervision (ACES), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).
Improve licensure portability.
Please join us for our monthly meetings to connect with other clinical mental health counselors, learn about how to use your particular skill to advocate for the profession, and get involved locally to serve as you further develop in your profession.