|Action||Mental Health Skill-building Services|
|Comment Period||Ends 10/23/2015|
In addressing mental health and the way it is handled in the state of Virginia, we don't need any more changes that are not well thought-out. I would urge those responsible for making regulatory changes to take a common sense approach to interviewing the people who are affected by these changes. Taking time to talk to direct support workers and supervisiors would allow for those in a position of power and responsibility to make wise decisions regarding the treatment of those with mental health diagnoses. One such area of the proposed changes deals with changes to who authors a client's Individualized Service Plan (ISP). The suggestion that an LMHP or an "LMHP-like" clinician should write treatment plans, is an example of a short-sighted idea that could only sound like a positive change to someone who does not understand this type of work.
First and foremost, any supervisor in a position to hire for this field of service could tell you that there are few applicants who meet this criteria. This is especially true in rural areas where needs are often times greater, or just as great, as urban settings. This also places a financial burden on the service providers themselves to have to pay for these people when there are quailified people already writing ISPs who work directly with the clients. Clients are people. They are unique. To meet their unique needs, they have direct support clincians who know their needs and can plan their treatment in cooperation with the client. What is being suggested will lead to a generic "cookie cutter" approach to services that dampens creative and personal intervention and will allow for more needs to slip through the cracks.