New York Mental Health Counselors Association is the state chapter of American Mental Health Counselors and was founded in 1979.
NYMHCA worked for many years to pass the bill licensing Mental Health Counselors, Creative Arts Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists and Psychoanalysts. The bill passed in 2002 and the first licenses were issued in 2005. There are approximately 6,000 licensed mental health counselors (LMHC's) in New York State at this time.
Currently NYMHCA is an organization of over 1300 members. There are 9 regional chapters that serve members in most regions of the state. Chapter membership is not required, but membership in a regional chapter requires membership in NYMHCA.
NYMHCA holds a biennial Convention in Albany, NY, and a biennial meeting for Counselor Educators.
NYMHCA contracts for the services of Hinman-Straub lobbyist, Heather Evans. Heather has helped us to move our profession forward by advocating for the profession and for NYMHCA, in Albany. With Heather's assistance, two bills were passed and signed into law that will greatly help not only mental health counselors, but our sister organizations as well. In 2013 a bill was passed and signed into law that allows mental health counselors who are accruing their 3,000 experiential hours to have an additional 1-year limited permit. That additional year brings to 4 years that mental health counselors can take to accrue their hours toward licensure.
The other bill that was signed into law requires that in 2017 all Mental Health Practitioners will need 36 hours of continuing education in order to renew their licenses. This requirement confirms that mental health practitioners are life-time learners who always want to build on their skills and knowledge.
None of the important legislative successes, or inroads made, could have been accomplished without membership dues paid by members who support our efforts on their behalf! We encourage all mental health counselors, students and educators to join or renew their membership to NYMHCA to ensure that our efforts can continue! You can also make a donation to NYMHCA and the NYMHCA PAC. Click on "Supporting NYMHCA's Advocacy Effort" link on the left of this page.
Below is a PowerPoint presentation about NYMHCA that can be downloaded and shared.