OBJECTIVE: Change state law to designate licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT) as qualified mental health professionals (QMHP), which is the same designation that psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed clinical social workers have afforded to them in statute.
Provide LMFT’s with legal immunity when exercising the duty-to-warn clause contained in the rules of evidence.
Seek inclusion for LMFT’s as qualified providers on the State Health Plan’s list of providers for state employees and retirees to utilize.
STRATEGY: Sought the support of leaders in the mental health community.
Educated key members of the legislative and executive branches regarding the inequities in the current statute as it relates to the education/training/patient diagnosis of LMFT’s compared to other QMHP’s.
Developed a coalition of mental health professionals to lobby for the legislation.
Requested the chairman of the senate committee along with committee members of both political parties with jurisdiction over such legislation to sponsor the legislation.
Organized all LMFT’s in Kentucky by Senate and House districts and conveyed to them how to contact their senator and representative.
RESULTS: S.B. 90 passed unanimously and was signed into law March 28, 2002. Previous attempts under the guidance of other lobbyists never got out of one committee.
LMFT’s are now statute-designated Qualified Mental Health Professionals and have legal protections when warning third parties of imminent danger.
LMFT’s are now included on the State Health Plan’s list of approved providers.