Senate Bill 82 - Mental Health Diagnoses
Senate Bill 82, authored by Senator Crider (R-Greenfield)
Mental Health America (MHA) adheres to the position that Hoosiers must have access to appropriate behavioral health services when needed and that state and local governments can play a critical role in making sure early intervention and treatment services are provided.
This requires maximizing the important work of mental health and addiction service providers who are trained and qualified to both treat and diagnose behavioral health disorders. As we have a workforce shortage that makes this most difficult, the shortage is acerbated in Indiana, as the diagnosis of mental health disorders is currently limited to Physicians and Psychologists.
In Indiana, 74 of the 92 counties are considered mental health professional shortage areas, and about 70% of counties have insufficient or no access to psychiatrists. Despite adequate training required by licensing agencies, independently providing a mental health diagnosis is currently prohibited for licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), licensed clinical addiction counselors (LCACs), and licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). The limited scope of practice prevents over 10,000 health care providers in Indiana from diagnosing patients with these disorders. Indiana is one of only two states where LCSW’s are not allowed to complete a mental health diagnosis independently.
The passage of SB 82 would allow the 5427 LCSWs, 2606 LMHCs, 1328 LCACs, and 1000 LMFTs to diagnoses mental health conditions. With 74 of the 92 counties considered mental health professional shortage areas and 70% of counties in Indiana currently having insufficient or no access to psychiatrists, this would increase the number of clinicians who could diagnose and provide treatment in a timely way. This bill is an immense step toward addressing the mental health crisis in Indiana.
ACTION NEEDED: Please urge your legislator to vote YES on SB 82 HERE!
Learn more about the bill and it's provisions below:
Senate Bill 82: MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS - Defines "mental health diagnosis" and sets forth requirements that must be met in order for certain licensed professionals to provide a mental health diagnosis. Requires certain mental health professionals who are making a mental health diagnosis and who determine that the patient has not been examined by a physician in the preceding 12 months to recommend to the patient that the patient schedule an examination by a physician at the earliest opportunity. Requires notation of that recommendation in the patient's medical record.
Senate Committee recommends passage, as amended Yeas: 12; Nays: 0