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Mental Health Update

March 27, 2023
Mental Health Update

Urging Legislative Support for the Qualified Mental Health Professional

As we referenced last week, the Assembly and Senate one house budget were incredibly supportive of our major ask around an 8.5% COLA.  There were however a few budget items that were included in the Governor’s budget that were left out of the one house bills. One of the initiatives that is important to our community was the innovative idea of the Qualified Mental Health Associate Title (similar to the CASAC in the OASAS system).

We look at this idea as a win/win for New Yorkers in the mental health community. The idea is to bring paraprofessionals into the mix. Many people are interested in our field but only have a high school or Associates degree. A QMHP, through training and development, can help set a person up with a career ladder in mental health.  The other win is that the QMHA can provide support for the licensed mental health professional by helping to create a support system, care management and evaluation for the individual in recovery.

Qualified Mental Health Associate Title

Support the Governor’s proposal to create a new paraprofessional title

In this year’s budget, the Governor has proposed a title within the NYS Office of Mental Health, that would provide training and support for paraprofessionals in the workplace. One of the reasons that there is a workforce crisis in mental health is that there are limited career ladders for individuals that come into the workforce through high school or with an Associates Degrees.

  • The QMHA will work in an OMH licensed program, under the supervision of a Licensed Mental Health Professional and will assist licensed mental health practitioners with their essential tasks by coaching and supporting individuals.
  • A QMHA is a certified paraprofessional who supports individuals in implementing a treatment plan developed by a licensed practitioner, only under supervision by a licensed practitioner. The QMHA can perform mental health functions that focus on assisting Licensed Mental Health Practitioners in their work with individuals with mental health conditions, all of which will enhance and expand the capacity of licensed professionals to operate at the top of their license, providing services that can only be provided within a licensed scope of practice.

 This model is similar to the successful CASAC model in substance use services where through a training curriculum combined with on hand experience, an individual can develop the necessary skill sets to help support an individual in their recovery through development of a support system, care management and evaluation.

 As we move to change the landscape of mental health services and support, utilizing paraprofessionals to work with clinicians will help provide patient support as well as possible career growth for the individual.

 MHANYS strongly supports this initiative


Glenn Liebman

(518) 434-0439 |

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