The Department of Health (DOH) is hosting four virtual listening sessions in June. It wants to learn about barriers to getting credentialed as a behavioral health professional in Washington State. All sessions will have the same content. Pick the session that works best for you or attend all sessions. You can register for the webinars at the links below. DOH will open the meetings for you to join 15 minutes prior to the start time listed below:
- June 6, 2023: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
- June 7, 2023: 1:30 – 3 p.m.
- June 12, 2023: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
- June 15, 2023: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
If you cannot make it to the virtual listening sessions, DOH would still like to hear from you. You can send comments to Cori Tarzwell, Strategic Policy Manager, at email@example.com.
Why is DOH doing listening sessions?
2SHB 1724 passed the Washington State Legislature in 2023. Section 5 of the bill requires DOH to identify changes to statutes and rules that would remove unnecessary barriers to entering or remaining in the behavioral health workforce. The workforce is defined in the bill as advanced social workers, independent clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, substance use disorder professionals, and psychologists.
What are the listening sessions for?
These listening sessions will help DOH learn from providers, employers, and communities about barriers to entering and remaining in the behavioral health workforce. They will help DOH shape future rulemaking on licensing requirements and inform recommendations to the Legislature starting this November. Their goal is to have licensure requirements for the behavioral health workforce that are equitable, allow for timely credentialing, protect the safety of patients and promote access to care.
What questions will DOH ask at the listening sessions?
These are the questions they will be asking:
- What licensing or credentialing barriers exist that prevent providers from entering or staying in the behavioral health workforce?
- What licensing or credentialing barriers exist that place an unfair burden on applicants from disadvantaged communities?
- What licensing or credentialing barriers exist that cause delays in applying for and receiving a credential from the department?
- What other licensing or credentialing related barriers does the department need to be aware of and consider?
Virtual listening sessions will have American Sign Language, Spanish interpreters, CART and auto-generated Closed Captioning. If you would like to request accommodations, contact Cori Tarzwell, Strategic Policy Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They ask that any requests for additional interpreters be made at least two weeks in advance. This is to give DOH the time needed to secure the requested service. They will make every effort to secure services but may not be able to because of availability.