Recommendations on Children’s Mental Health

As the Legislative Session starts on February 9th NASW/CT has issued 17 recommendations related to Children’s Mental Health and Workplace Issues. The Legislature is expected to make a major push to address the crisis in children’s mental health. NASW/CT’s recommendations are being widely distributed to state policy makers. To read the 17 recommendations click on the headline above.

Recommendations for Addressing Children’s Mental Crisis in CT

  1. Involve direct service clinical social workers in discussions on and solutions to the mental health crisis.
  2. Address both the immediate and long-term issues.
  3. Have school social workers, school psychologists and school counselors employed in each school. Work toward the NASW recommended ratio of 1 school social worker per every 250 school children.
  4. Replace School Resource Officers with School Social Workers who are trained in mental health service delivery.
  5. Expand SBHCs that includes behavioral health services in both distressed and non-distressed municipalities.
  6. Expand School Based Mental Health Clinics for those schools that cannot afford or lack sufficient space for a full-service SBHC.
  7. Tuition reimbursement for students studying toward a graduate level mental health degree, especially students of color to diversify the mental health workforce.
  8. Loan forgiveness for behavioral health professionals in practice fields experiencing shortages of personnel and/or serving communities of greatest need. Social workers must be included as an eligible profession.
  9. Reduce tuition costs for behavioral health degrees. MSW degrees can cost upwards of $80,000.
  10. Significantly improve salaries and provider reimbursement rates. Increase funding for non-profits with dedicated funding toward salaries.
  11. Offer “Staying Bonuses” to direct service employees who have 5 or more years of continuous employment.
  12. Hold private insurers accountable for provider relation problems. Many providers refuse clients with insurance due to low reimbursement rates and the high degree of administrative hassles.
  13. Develop support services for behavioral health providers. Allow 2 paid mental health days per year for behavioral health providers.
  14. Expand integrated health care for pediatric services through the employ of clinical social workers. Create a pilot program where the state pays half of the social workers salary and the pediatric practice pays half of the salary.
  15. Establish Medicaid provider status to LMSWs in established independent practices.
  16. Exempt out-of-state licensed mental health clinicians from CT licensure when they are treating a student going to school in CT or a CT student home on school break.
  17. Lower social work licensing fees and make the renewal bi-annual. CT is consistently in the top 3 states for the highest fees and is only 1 of 7 states to renewal licenses annually.

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