Amend scopes of practice of Licensed MH Practitioners to include diagnosis
The lack of clarity regarding diagnosis in the scopes of practice of Licensed Mental Health Practitioners creates an artificial shortage or qualified mental health professionals in the State of New York.
- The New York State Legislature
There is a great need for qualified mental health professionals in New York State. Yet, because of the confusion created by the fact the term “diagnosis” does not appear in the scopes of practice for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Psychoanalysts, Licensed Creative Arts Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors, these highly qualified professionals are told they cannot diagnose their clients.
However, the laws and regulations that govern these professionals states that they are authorized to use “classifications of signs and symptoms” identified as the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to “to identify, evaluate and treat dysfunctions and disorders”.
In addition, the New York State Education Department recommends in their Report to the Legislature and Executive Pursuant to Chapters 130 & 131 of the Laws of 2010, that “There is agreement that “diagnosis” is a function that could be appropriately provided by individuals licensed under Article 163, although this term is not included in the scope of practice for each profession. The Legislature could provide clarity by amending Article 163 to define diagnosis within the practice of the professions or provide guidance that an interpretation of the existing language to include diagnosis would be consistent with the legislative intent.”
We are requesting that the New York State Legislature amend the scopes of practice for Licensed Mental Health Practitioners and add the term “diagnose” thereby clarifying their authority and making them available to serve the mental health needs of New Yorkers.
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