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Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc.

Our History

 MaMHCA is formed with a membership of 25
 MaMHCA becomes organized under AMHCA
 First licensure bill filed
 First annual conference
 MaMHCA has roughly 100 members
 Licensure for LMHCs becomes law
 Berna Haberman receives the first LMHC license in Massachusetts with LMHC license 1
 Board of Registration comes into being as the governing body for LMHCs
 MA CMR 262 are implemented as the regulations governing the profession
 LMHC grandparenting period ends

 MaMHCA gets its own toll-free 1-800 number (remember when it cost money to call someone in a different area code, but 800 numbers were free??)

 The continuing education certification program launches with the first license exam prep classes and a workshop series delivered jointly with MaCA
 The office expands, hiring Dick Hsu as the first business administrator, soon to be followed by Deborah Bergstrom in the following year
 The office expands further by hiring Midge Williams as the first executive director
 MaMHCA begins delivery of its own in-house workshops
 Membership hits approximately 2,000 individuals
 MaMHCA formally joins MARIACES
 Third-party reimbursement becomes law
 BCBS opens indemnity panel to LMHCs
 MaMHCA joins the Mass Mental Health Coalition
 MBHP opens panels to LMHCs
 MaMHCA achieves tax-exempt 501c.3 nonprofit status

 In the heyday of Web 1.0, MaMHCA launched its first website and published its first Referral Network Directory

 MaMHCA opens its first central office in Natick
 MBHP includes LMHCs as approved supervisors in agencies
 LMHCs are named as core providers in healthcare parity law
 MBHP reimburses mental health counselor interns
 MBHP opens private panel to LMHCs
 The Dept. of Public Health includes LMHCs as full members of interdisciplinary treatment teams
 The Dept. of Public Health grants LMHCs autism diagnosis privilege

 MaMHCA launches its Home Study Book Project, which continues today

 MaMHCA hosts its inaugural Annual Job and Career Fair
 In a big win for parity with other professions, LMHC Testimonial Privilege becomes law

 MaMHCA begins providing Supervision Training

 First Certified Supervisor complete the MaMHCA Supervision Training
 The office continues to grow, now hiring David McAllister as its first public policy director
 The Haberman-Williams MaMHCA Scholarship, which was established the year previous, is awarded for the first time to one Christina Hampton, a graduate student at Lesley University
 MaMHCA continues to make an impact at the legislative and public policy level, with appointments to join the Behavioral Health Task Force for Payment Reform Legislation and chair the CBHI Workforce Development Group
 A good couple of years into Web 2.0, MaMHCA launches an updated website

 MaMHCA runs a joint conference with NASW-MA on healthcare reform

 Continuing on the theme of technology adoption, MaMHCA published the MaMHCA Guidelines for LMHCs Using Electronic Communication, Technology Assisted Counseling, and Social Media in their Practice
 MaMHCA files two new bills advocating for LMHC practice and consumer safety in favor of Section 12 privileges and the creation of a Behavioral Health Workforce Development Fund
 Established the formal title of MaMHCA Certified Clinical Supervisor Credential (MaCCS) for graduates of MaMHCA Clinical Supervision Training Program
 MaMHCA hosts its 10th Annual Job and Career Fair and its 30th (!) Annual Conference
 MaMHCA is selected to chair the Behavioral Health Electronic Health Records Task Force for EOHHS
 MaMHCA moves to a new office space in Foxboro, and continues legislative advocacy by filing a bill in favor of an LMHC-only Board
 MaMHCA becomes a MassHealth Program Integrity Committee member
 MaMHCA hosts the MARIACES meeting
 The arrival of the virus SARS-CoV2 and the disease Covid-19 changes everything. Lockdowns and health concerns force people to stay at home, where they watch Essential Workers continue to go do work deemed too important to stop. The nation was unprepared for the demands of a pandemic, and it was even less prepared to watch the healthcare profession as a whole take the pandemic on with staggering losses, and go down fighting.
 Healthcare workers find themselves cast in the archetype of soldiers for a cause, with much celebration of their heroism and sacrifice. Healthcare professionals’ ambivalence about this narrative aside, this was a moment when the country could at least agree that healthcare was rather important, not just for the individual, but also for the economic and social systems in which they resided.
 Telehealth, once a tentative area of exploration for homebound clients, goes mainstream. The collective experience of isolation, fear, and partisanship delivers instantaneous and unavoidable clarity to a long debate about parity between mental health and physical health: Mental health is just as important as physical health.
 Insurance rules and state regulations governing telehealth and practice across state lines are retrofitted to meet the need of the moment, with repercussions that remain after lockdowns are lifted.
 MaMHCA went online in early April and pivoted to meet the challenge of the pandemic head on, by adding services to support our members, such as conducting monthly “Covid Chats” as a drop-in support group for practitioners and interns suddenly conducting therapy out of their home; running all workshops online; making a rapid move online for the home study program; delivering a telemental health training to provide support for practitioners new to online practice; and hosting the annual conference online as well.
 MaMHCA continued to thrive primarily online, with a virtual open house and its first virtual lobbying event.
 Gov. Baker mandates that insurance panels must reimburse behavioral health providers for telehealth in perpetuity.
 In August, the Massachusetts Mental Health ABC Act 2.0 was signed into law by Gov. Baker, paving the way to greater fiscal parity for the profession, an entry-level licensure for LMHCs called the LSMHC (licensed supervised mental health counselor), and a board that better reflects and represents the number of LMHCs in Massachusetts, which hit about 8,500 midyear.

Ⓒ MaMHCA 2023
17 Cocasset St., Suites 301 & 302

Foxborough, MA 02035

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