April 11, 2011
Dear TAMFT Members,
We want to urge you to contact your members of Congress to become co-sponsors for S604, which is the Senate bill to have licensed marriage and family therapists become approved mental health providers under Medicare. AAMFT has urged our members to contact their federal representatives who are Senators Corker and Alexander and the Congressman from your own district. You may do this by going to aamft.org and clicking on the tab for advocacy. It will take you to an advocacy page that helps you identify your representatives and gives a sample letter that you can send through the website or write your own. Linda Hazel, President-elect, and I visited their offices several weeks ago during the Spring Leadership Conference and asked them to support this bill. Your contacting them will build on this effort. Thank you for your efforts in advocating for our profession and giving greater service to seniors and their families.
Richard Gillespie, L.M.F.T. and M. Div..President, TAMFT
August 24, 2010
We want to thank the TAMFT Board and Legislative Committee, our members, and lobbyist Todd Bouldin for hard work in getting our vendorship bill for marriage and family therapists passed this year. This bill states that LMFT's are recognized mental health providers that employers and insurance plans can contract with to provide mental health services. LMFT's are approved mental health providers on an equal basis as other providers (i.e. social workers,psychologists) to give mental health service like those offered by others in the statute (such as for depression and abuse). Our members are encouraged to use this legislation as persuasive evidence with insurance and employee plans that LMFT's should be approved providers. This legislation does not require insurance companies to contract with licensed marriage and family therapists and does not establish a specific level of reimbursement for marriage and family therapists. The legislation marks a higher level of recognition and profile for licensed marriage and family therapists in Tennessee. This legislative goal is one that had been recommended for many years by AAMFT and is one that our association leaders and members have tried to pass in earlier years. Many thanks to the earlier pioneers of MFT in Tennessee who brought us this far. We have built on their foundation.
April 22, 2010
September 15, 2009
The Tennessee state legislature passed legislation this year to review the state of Child Protective Services in Tennessee. The intent is to get input from providers and families who have had experience with the system in order to support the Department of Children's Services in their mission to ensure the safety and quality of life for children and their families in Tennessee. The Select Committee on Children and Youth in the legislature is knowing suggestions for improvement of the Child Protective System as well as having input about the longterm effects of sexual abuse on individuals and families(i.e. depression, anger, impaired intimacy in marriages). If you are interested and willing to testify or be a resource in this area to the committee, please contact Richard Gillespie by email at email@example.com . The committee has not yet set hearings so that we are looking at this time to have a list of those MFT's willing to give input in one way or another. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Richard Gillespie, President-elect, TAMFT
Tennessee Association for Marriage and Family Therapy wants to announce to our membership that the legislature has passed and Governor signed our state job classification bill into law. Tennessee is only the second state in the country to have this happen. The bill requires the state Department of Human Resources to begin creating state job classifications for licensed marriage and family therapists according to our scope of practice. These positions will not be funded and fully staffed until the economy picks up and the state is looking for new employees. At the moment the state has a hiring freeze on and is worried about possible layoffs. But this should result in improved mental health services for the families we serve as a family systems view is brought into state agencies. It should mean improved opportunities for our profession in jobs in state departments like Mental Health, Children's Services, and Corrections as examples. We have offered the state an advisory committee from our membership to help in implementing this law. We wish to thank all those members who wrote their state representatives and took part in other ways to promote this bill. We could have only done this working together.
Linda Oxford, LCSW,LMFT, President , TAMFT
Richard Gillespie, LMFT. M. Div. , President-elect, TAMFT