Celebrating Our Advocacy Achievements:
The Impact of Your Involvement
At the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT), our history of advocacy reflects a journey of impactful change and progress in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) in Georgia. Here’s a look at our key achievements and how you can be part of this ongoing success story:
Our Advocacy Champions
- We are immensely grateful to our lobbyist, Elizabeth Appley, whose dedication has been pivotal in our advocacy efforts.
- The GAMFT Legislative Committee, led by Chair David Blanchard and members Michele Smith, Dan Upshaw, and Tommy Hampton, has been instrumental in guiding and supporting our initiatives.
- Special thanks to the Policy Advisory Committee and the Licensure Provision Improvement Workgroup for their invaluable contributions in reviewing legislation and improving MFT licensure provisions.
Key Achievements: Shaping the Future of MFT
Our profession’s strength and recognition are a direct result of our collective advocacy efforts. Here are some pivotal milestones GAMFT has achieved:
- In 1983, GAMFT achieved a significant milestone by advocating for the passage of SB 93. This legislation established Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) as subject to state-specific codes and regulations, solidifying our commitment to upholding the highest professional standards. SB 93 officially came into effect on July 1st, 1984. GAMFT remains steadfast in safeguarding and assessing the ongoing relevance of these regulations.
- In 1995, Georgia updated LMFT training requirements through the passage of SB 188, reflecting our commitment to maintaining the highest professional standards.
- In 2014, Georgia expanded the scope of our practice with the passage of SB 128. GAMFT’s advocacy efforts successfully added “diagnose” to our practice scope, recognizing our expertise and enhancing our ability to serve our clients.
- In 2019, Georgia granted LMFTs the authority to sign a 1013/2013, a vital step in mental health crisis management, through HB 590. This achievement was the result of our collective action, demonstrating our dedication to improving mental health services in the state.
- In 2021, our lobbying efforts led to the inclusion of LMFT services in Medicaid billing under EPSDT’s Psychology Services, expanding our reach and making our services more accessible to those children under the age of 16.
- In 2022, GAMFT took another significant step by clarifying and updating LMFT licensing standards in alignment with national standards. This move reaffirmed our commitment to maintaining the highest levels of professional excellence.
GAMFT Legislative Milestones: A Legacy of Success
- Passing MFT Licensure Revisions (HB 76)
- A landmark achievement, updating MFT licensure requirements to enhance our profession’s effectiveness.
- Broad Mental Health Legislation Advocacy
- Our active involvement in advocating for bills such as HB 520 and SB 140 has ensured that MFT perspectives are well-represented.
- Expanding MFT Roles in Health Evaluations
- We supported MFT inclusion in evaluations for adult guardianships and conservatorships, showcasing our versatility.
- Enhancing Licensure Mobility and Recognition
- Our efforts in discussions around bills like SB 195 and HB 155 have been focused on improving licensure mobility for MFTs.
- Participation in Behavioral Health Reform
- Actively engaging in the BHRIC and other groups, we have advocated for comprehensive behavioral health reforms.
- Empowering MFTs in Advocacy
- Organizing events like the GAMFT Virtual Lobby Day, we have been empowering LMFTs to actively engage in advocacy.
- Building Legislative Relationships
- Strengthening ties with legislators, we have enhanced their understanding of LMFTs’ roles and impact.
Join Our Advocacy Efforts
- As a GAMFT member, you can contribute to this legacy. Explore ways to volunteer, including joining our committees or participating in advocacy events.
- Register for our weekly 10am Friday Zoom drop-in meetings hosted by David Blanchard throughout 2024 Legislative Session, where you can learn more about our advocacy efforts and how to get involved. Click here to register!
- Stay updated on GAMFT events and opportunities at our Events Page.
Your Role in Shaping the Future of MFT
Your involvement and support are critical in continuing our journey of advocacy and professional growth. Together, we can achieve even greater milestones for MFTs in Georgia.
Join us in this endeavor to shape a brighter future for our profession!