Mental Health Practice Act Updated May 2011
SB11-187 focused on the sunset review of The Mental Health Practice
Act. The following is a summary of the additions and deletions from our
current licensure act.
- Extend the regulatory boards of all those providers covered
under the statute until September 1, 2020. Those providers include
psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, marriage and
family therapists, addictions counselors and registered
- A new Board has been created to regulate addictions
counselors, who were previously regulated by the Director of DORA rather
than a board
- A name change for those previously known as unlicensed psychotherapists to registered psychotherapists.
- A name change for the Grievance Board that oversaw unlicensed psychotherapists to State Board of Registered Psychotherapists
- The composition of all Boards will now be comprised of four (4)
professional members and three (3) public members, the reverse of what
we have had to date.
- The psychologist and social work Boards can determine the format
(for example, web based) for the jurisprudence examination to increase
efficiency in the administration of the examination.
- Clarifies that psychotherapy is only one of many practice areas
for mental health providers (except for registered psychotherapists).
- Clarifies the training and work experience required to obtain a
license as a clinical social worker (allows that experience to be in
areas other than psychotherapy).
- Changes to some of the prohibited activities:
- Allows a Board to discipline a provider if the provider is
given a deferred sentence to any felony charge (as opposed to discipline
only if the felony relates to the ability to practice).
- Eliminates the term “intemperate” in disciplining a provider for use or abuse of alcohol or drugs.
- Eliminates the ability of the Board to discipline simply
for having a mental or physical disorder that impairs one’s ability to
practice. Rather, it disciplines a practitioner for failure to notify
the Board of the inability to practice or for failure to follow through
with the conditions of a confidential agreement with the Board related
to that impairment.
- Generally accepted standards of practice of each provider
group will be taken into account when considering disciplinary action as
to whether one has acted within the generally accepted standards of
- “Willful” repeated ordering of unnecessary laboratory tests or studies is now eliminated.
- Failure to respond to a complaint is basis for disciplinary action.
- Rules are to be adopted by the Boards establishing a schedule of
fines for violations of administrative requirements such as late
renewal of one’s license. The cap for such violation is $5,000.
- Establishes a peer assistance program to be implemented in 2013,
allowing for the establishment of a study group comprised of members of
each provider group included in the Statute to work with DoRA in
determining the design of such program.
- Requires that all providers covered by the Statute provide a
verbal and written disclosure statement explaining the levels of
regulation applicable to the particular discipline, the educational and
training requirements necessary applicable to acquire a license.
- Registered psychotherapists must include a statement indicating
that he or she is not licensed and is not required to satisfy any
standardized educational or testing requirements in order to be a
- Providers covered by the Statute acting as CFI’s are no longer exempt from Board jurisdiction.
- Providers covered by the Statute acting as coaches are no longer
exempt from Board jurisdiction unless they are not engaged in mental
health practice (ex: coaching a sports team is exempt).
- Adds “counseling” to the list of social work activities.
- Recodifies law specifying qualifications for licensure and the
particular activities in which an addiction counselor II or III may
- The fee for licensure for a the next two renewal cycles (the
fees already include the increase to cover continuing competency).
These increases are based on the fiscal note attached to the bill; there
may be some adjustment. We will publicize the fee increase schedule as
soon as we are officially notified by DORA.
- $215 for an initial license in 2011; decrease to $196 starting in 2013 for an initial license
- $135 for license renewal in 2011 and 2013
- If the peer assistance program is enacted in 2013, the fee will increase by $25
Mental Health Sunset Activity
May 2011 - SB 187 passed both the Senate and the House and awaits governor's signature
March 2011 - Senate Bill 187 presented to the Health & Human Services Committee
October 2010 - The DORA 2010 Sunset Report is posted.
Spring 2010 - Sunset proposals
made by the Sunset Coalition of mental health professions. These
changes have been proposed to DORA staff reviewers for their DORA Sunset
For more information about the process and to learn what you can do to help click here.
To get involved, and receive minutes from the meetings e-mail email@example.com
To view participants involved in the Sunset Coalition click here.
To view participants involved in the Internal Social Work Sunset Group click here.