Thanks to the more than 200 LPCs, LPC-Interns, and graduate students who submitted comments in advance of the Sunset Commission public hearing held on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. 

You provided a great foundation for the testimony given by the TCA team – Dr. Katherine Bacon (TSBEPC Liaison), Dr. Michael Moyer (TCA President-elect-elect), and Jan Friese (TCA Executive Director). You can view their testimony here, starting at 4:11:59.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED  

To keep up our momentum, we are asking you to submit comments by May 1, 2018, 5 P.M. focusing on the testimony given at the public hearing as well as the Sunset Commission Staff Report. The final recommendations will be published on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.
Information and Background

As expected, the psychologists in attendance spoke against the recommendation that all mental health licensing boards be housed at Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC).

They argued that the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists should instead remain as a stand-alone agency. Much of their testimony contained errors on how BHEC will be structured and the autonomy of each of the Boards that will be housed there.

You can help us correct the inaccurate information shared by the Texas Psychology Association at the hearing by submitting comments no later than Tuesday, May 1, 5 P.M. 

Listed below are some talking points. Please select and then edit the one or two that reflect how you feel. As always, speak from your heart.

I am commenting on the Sunset Commission Staff Report and in response to the public hearing on the Behavioral Health Licensing Boards held on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

  • I support the recommendation that the boards regulating LPCs, LMFTs, Social Workers, and Psychologists be housed at the new Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, as this will create a more efficient and effective structure for all professionals who deliver mental health services in Texas.
  • The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council will not create one combined board for all mental health professionals. Each of the four licensing boards will retain their integrity and rule-making authority for each distinct discipline.
  • I support creation of the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, but request that the professional members appointed to BHEC by each licensing board have voting privileges on BHEC.
  • Under the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, each board will still be appointed by the Governor as currently set forth in the Occupations Code. Each board's rule-making authority will remain intact and licenses will be issued by each Board – not by BHEC.
  • The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council is essentially an administrative agency – not a licensing board. It will achieve efficiencies and consistency where appropriate, such as in administrative activities related to applications and investigations.
  • The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council will not be authorized to establish rules.They will review rules but will only be able to reject or send rules back to each board if the rules violate current statutes or create anti-competitive, monopolistic, or anti-trust scenarios.
  • Maintaining the status quo or creating two separate administrative agencies for the four mental health licensing boards is NOT the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars The state’s interests are best served by forming ONE agency as recommended in the Sunset Commission Staff Report.
  • Holding a doctorate is not unique to psychologists. Many other mental health providers also hold this prestigious degree.This is no reason to have a stand-alone agency for psychologists. In fact, many psychologists are dually licensed by one of the other mental health boards – another reason they should be housed at BHEC. 
  • There should be just one agency to handle the administration of all the mental health professional licensing boards.This model will make it easy for the public to both find providers and learn how to file complaints when necessary. 
  • Creation of the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council was recommended unanimously by the last Sunset Commission.The bill to create BHEC passed unanimously from the House Public Health Committee because it is a great, strong design that will best serve Texas.
 
The Sunset Commission meeting is archived and available for view. The hearing on the Behavioral Health Licensing Boards begins at 2:30:00 and the TCA delegation's testimony begins at 4:11:59.

Thank you very much for taking time to speak up on behalf of your profession. 
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