Why Legislative Advocacy?
Why is legislative advocacy so important?
Our MFT licensure continues to exist because of the legislative efforts of GAMFT. Our legislative committee members have been working for decades to protect, defend, and strengthen the marriage and family therapy license in Georgia. If active efforts are not made yearly to ensure MFTs are included in mental health legislation, our license and input will be seen as unnecessary and inconsequential.
For example, several years ago GAMFT ensured that the ability to diagnose was added to our legal scope of practice. Had this not occurred, MFTs would likely have lost the ability to bill insurance. And just last year, our advocacy efforts ensured the passage of HB591 which granted MFTs the ability to execute life saving 1013s/2013s.
Beyond just “protecting” our license
GAMFT is actively working to strengthen the MFT license and broaden its scope and significance at the state level. We do this by creating and advocating for laws that improve our authority and demonstrate that we are significant stakeholders in the provision of mental health services in Georgia. But it’s not solely about our licenses. We also have an obligation to advocate for improved mental services and systems in the state.
Advocacy for the future of MFTs
Our license is what it is today because of those that came before us. Let’s ensure that the MFT license and profession has a long legacy that outlasts our personal jobs and practices.
GAMFT views educating and connecting MFTs as core parts of our mission, but if we don’t have a license, the rest of our mission matters less. Through this lens, we see legislative advocacy as an opportunity for us to provide for and support each other, and we hope you’ll join us in these efforts!