OUT OF MY MIND
by JAMES BLUNDO, MMHCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Our lives have been greatly altered in 2020; between the Pandemic and the Black Lives Matter issues being addressed. These are the two greatest challenges of our lives. We are suffering from overload, confusion, and many are asking how to envision a life plan going forward.
Nothing will ever be the same except change. It is the only constant.
In this spirit, I will provide information where about where we have been recently and the way forward for Counselors in the state of Michigan.
Just after the COVID-19 quarantine started the hottest question was "Can I do Telehealth?" MMHCA worked closely with our lobbyist who kept us in the loop with the Governor’s office, LARA, MDHHS. We tried to fill you in on our website, Facebook, and Instagram with the latest information as it became available. Nothing was clear in the beginning. We answered many questions and referred counselors to many resources.
We helped to create a hotline for the state to help those in need of mental health counseling. The Governor’s office and MDHHS supported our idea and approved. As previously reported MMHCA then sent out a survey to create a list of counselors who would volunteer on hotline calls and referrals. Almost 500 responded. That list is now in the hands of several groups within Government and some private foundations. We hope many on the list will be contacted for both pro bono and Telehealth referrals.
Our PPL Committee has been working with our lobbyist to refine the Supervision rules through the Board of Counseling and LARA. This is well on its way.
MMHCA was asked by the Governor’s office to identify two counselors to appoint to the Board of Counseling. We have nominated to people with outstanding credentials and they were accepted. We will announce them after July 1, 2020 when they take office.
MMHCA meetings are held monthly by way of Zoom. Please contact me if you are interested in attending and getting involved with MMHCA!
We held our first online Human Trafficking webinar On May 22, 2020. We maxed out at 100 participants.
This went so well that we will be providing more webinars in the near future.
This is one great way to provide training! Let us know your ideas on types of webinars that would be helpful.
I was recently re- elected to the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) Board of Directors. I am on the AMHCA PPL Committee. My goal is to get Medicare Inclusion for counselors. We tried to get this included in the COVID 4 Recovery Act. It was not included in the US House vote. I am working with Senator Stabenow to include it in the Senate vote. At the moment it is stalled. We will keep trying to include it.
MMHCA continues to grow in numbers. The latest count is 1022 members.
Counselors are really recognizing the value of their membership.
We are developing Affinity discount Programs to give greater value to your membership.
MMHCA has launched a one-year free membership drive for 2020 Counseling Graduates as a gift for enduring through the Pandemic. This offer will expire September 1, 2020. This is the link for taking advantage of this offer:
We are developing counseling services to nurses on the frontline along with Trauma Recovery Associates (TRA). MMHCA wants to involve our members who have experience in trauma recovery and PTSD.
Finally, we all need to create a process on how to envision our lives going forward. Watch for surveys and other ideas being developed.
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James Blundo, LPC
MMHCA Executive Director