|Action||Add Licensed Behavior Analysts to the Definition of Licensed Mental Health Professional|
|Comment Period||Ended on 11/14/2018|
I agree that licensed behavior analyst should be added to the list of licensed mental health professionals. With the seemingly large push toward mental health awareness in recent years, it can be expected that the mental health field is expanding as well. Adding this position to the role of licensed mental health professionals will increase employment opportunities in the Commonwealth, producing economic benefits. Adding this title to a licensed profession seems like it will also allow these individuals to act more efficiently and effectively in providing services to those in need. There does not appear to be any negative impacts that could result from this regulatory change.
As requirements for mental health services rise, Virginia needs to increase the quantity and quality of the mental healthcare system. By including licensed behavior analyst as a professional, mental health services availability would increase; thus, contributing to a more effective and efficient mental healthcare system. The provision to include LBAs as a LMHP would not only benefit individuals directly involved with mental health needs, but also society as the economy diversifies and expands. Through professionalization, career-seekers may witness an increase in wages, which enhances the quality of life, the economy, and the quality of service. Focusing on the quality of service, professionalization could require more strenuous training; thus, making the services better and overall understanding of needs clear. Since the provision does not have negative externalities, I believe that LBAs should be listed as a LMHP to increase the quantity and quality of our mental healthcare system.
Given the increasing need for licensed mental health professionals within our state and across the county, this provision should be approved. As a society we are placing more and more emphasis on behavioral health and will continue to lean on their services. The provision to include LBAs as a LMHP would help in the recruitment of skilled talent to the state to help with the increasing demand in this field. By giving these professionals the appropriate recognition they would then be able to compete for increased wages as well as increasing the available individuals for hire in many of these fields.
Thank you for your consideration,