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April 2024 - Monthly Call to Action | Advocacy Committee

Monday, April 29, 2024 2:34 PM | CSCSW Administrator (Administrator)

In an effort to make advocacy easy and accessible to all of our members, the Advocacy Committee Chair will be providing you all with a monthly call to action. This is a meaningful and impactful way for you to stay involved and advocate for important topics surrounding clinical social work in California.

This month, get in touch with your local representative and encourage them to vote to pass the Telemental Health Access Act. Please below for more information (use this text for an email or note). You can reach out to them via email or if you have the time, schedule a meeting at their local office. While we support this bill, we encourage you to educate yourself as you engage in any legislative advocacy.

Check this link to find your local representative:

Read more about the bill here:

Reach out to the advocacy committee chair for additional guidance and support

Veronica Yakovenko, LCSW  
CSCSW  Advocacy Chair

Telemental Health Access Act (S. 3651/H.R. 3432) – April, 2024

Telemental health, which was widely implemented in March, 2020, due to the pandemic, has been found by both therapists and patients to be an effective and efficient way of providing needed mental health care. Mental health conditions went up 20-40% in the past 4 years and show no signs of being lowered to pre-pandemic levels. Below are some reasons that Telemental Health treatment should be made permanent:

  • The availability of mental health services through Telemental Health is as crucial to the well-being of our population as access to medical services. In 2021, suicides increased by 25% and deaths from drug overdoses were over 100,000.
  • Many patients will be unable to continue treatment if they cannot continue using Telemental Health.
  • As of 2025, LCSWs will be required to see every Medicare patient in person every six months.  This is unrealistic if patients are at a distance from the therapist and/or the therapist does not have an office.
  • The 2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress from the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of the Treasury recommends that “…Congress consider ways to permanently expand access to telehealth and remote care services.”

Because of the inconsistency in availability to telemental health psychotherapy services across the country, we urge Congress to create and pass a law that will rectify this inequity permanently by passing S. 3651/H.R. 3432. This bill would authorize the use of telemental health on a permanent basis, allow both video and audio only as acceptable procedures for telemental health’s provision, and require parity in coverage and payment to in-person services.

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