Legislative Action: Mental Health Day on the Hill March 16, 2017
New this year 1.5 CEs available for attendance (Note time and location change below.)

The Minnesota Psychological Association will be joining in on the Mental Health Day on the Hill scheduled for March 16, 2017. We have had great experiences with Mental Health Day and participants have enjoyed getting involved in the legislative process.  The key to legislative success is the development of working relationships with our legislators. We need all psychologists to be engaged with their legislators to ensure that our profession is supported and so that the health care system is responsive to the needs of those we serve.

Mental Health Day will include meeting at 8:15 am at the Minnesota Capitol Building, Room 316, in St. Paul. We will review some general information about the legislative process, and specifics of legislation MPA is working on this year. This review of advocacy strategy and issues will be the part of the day eligible for CE credit. We will then go to the Capitol for pre-scheduled meetings with attendees’ legislators. A rally will be held in the Capitol rotunda where a variety of mental health providers and consumers will gather at noon to support mental health legislation. At the end of the day, we will touch base with participants to debrief about their experiences.


8:15-8:30 Registration and light breakfast

8:30-8:35 Welcome by MPA President Steve Girardeau

8:35-9:00 Advocacy and how to speak with Legislators-Trisha Stark MPA legislative chair

9:00-9:10 Importance of advocacy from a student perspective-Kristin Johnson

9:10-9:20 Update on current climate at the legislature-Patrick Lobejko MPA lobbyist

9:20-9:40 Information about our bills, how they came into being, review of talking points

Steve Girardeau and Robin McLeod, Past President of MPA

9:40-9:50 Role play of conversation with a Legislator-Patrick Lobejko and Robin McLeod

9:50-10:00 Other bills related to mental health being heard in the Legislature-Trisha Stark

10:00 Turn in evaluations and collect CE certificates

10:00-2:30 Appointments with Legislators

1:30 Rally in the Capitol Rotunda with speakers

2:30-3:00 Meet in transportation cafeteria to touch base about appointments with Legislators

A main focus of MPA’s legislative work this year is to make vital changes to the Minnesota Psychology Practice Act. In collaboration with stakeholders, we are working on issues relating to when psychologists in academic settings might require licensure. We are also working to specify supervision requirements, so that there is less ambiguity about what is required for post doc supervision for licensure. We are also working to make it easier for professionals licensed in other states/territories to be licensed in Minnesota by reducing unnecessary barriers. In addition to our Practice Act legislation, we are sponsoring legislation to ease provision of care in integrated medical settings such that when Medical Assistance is the payer, a Diagnostic Assessment is not required until the sixth visit. This will allow psychologists to give more responsive care in primary and specialty medical settings, and provide brief preventive services as appropriate. Of course, when an individual is in need of specialty mental health care, they would be linked to such services and receive a complete evaluation. We will support legislation by other groups such as the Mental Health Legislative Network, of which MPA is a member, and the Safety Net Coalition to increase reimbursement for Medical Assistance services and further establish mental health parity in Minnesota.

If you would like to participate, please send your name, home address, phone number, and email address to trishas@trishastarkphdlp.com. We need this information in order to schedule appointments with legislators for participants. Feel free to contact Trisha if you have any questions about the day or MPA’s legislative agenda.