Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY 5th)
11th-term Democrat from New York.
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Letters To Leaders
All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Budget:
Subject:
Permanent Exemption from Social Work Licensure

To:
Rep. Gregory Meeks

February 16, 2013

I am reaching out to you to advocate against The portion of the Governor’s Executive Budget that seeks to make permanent the exemption from social work licensure for individuals working in programs that are regulated, operated, funded or approved by the Office of Mental Health including Office of Children and Family Services or social services districts.

This proposal would allow broad sections of the workforce to be unlicensed individuals who have not met the minimum qualifying education, experience and examination benchmarks, to diagnose and treat serious and persistent mental illness.

I am a part of the mental health field for Children and Youth and it takes a tremendous amount of skill to service this population so that they have an opportunity to fully participate in society and this proposal seeks to undermine the skill and service provided which is absolutely unethical. You don't hire an engineer intern to service a plane, you hire the qualified professional to ensure people's lives are not put at risk.

I've been in the mental health field for over 8 years and in that time have studied diligently and acquired countless clinical hours to ensure that I can become a licensed professional. This bill disregards the time and effort involved in that process and puts our society at risk for increased malpractice via misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment by untrained unlicensed professionals, insurance fraud related to inappropriate billing, and increases the danger to others as those most at need will not get quality care. In a society with increased violence, often linked to inadequate mental health services, now is not the time to cut any funds or professional resources in this area.

I am reaching out to you on behalf of my fellow licensed professionals to advocate on behalf of our profession and the disadvantaged population we serve. If you require any more information, feel free to reach out to me. Thank you Representative Meeks and fellow members of congress.

Rosedale , NY