COLUMBUS—The state legislature today passed Senator Kristina Roegner's (R-Hudson) bill to help increase access to mental health care in Ohio, and it is now on its way to the governor's desk to be signed into law. Senate Bill 204 enters Ohio into the Counseling Compact, which will allow all licensed mental health counselors to practice in member states, either in person or via telehealth.
"It is fitting to pass this bill during Mental Health Awareness Month," said Roegner. "This legislation is straightforward and focused on the best interests of caregivers and patients alike. Its passage will expand economic opportunity for Ohio’s counselors and improve access to care for Ohio’s patients through interstate travel and greater access to telehealth services."
The Counseling Compact will ease the licensure burden currently associated with military and civilian relocation. The Compact will go into effect once enacted by ten states. It is similar to the other mutual recognition type compacts the legislature has approved.
Like its predecessors, this Counseling Compact establishes an interstate commission comprised of delegates from compact member states to administer the compact. It also creates a licensure data system for the Compact member state boards to communicate and exchange information, including licensure and disciplinary sanctions.
The bill specifies requirements for an individual to obtain a privilege to practice, including:
There are also requirements for a state to be able to join the Counseling Compact. A member state must: