The Roles and Functions of a CMHC
In today's managed care environment, clinical mental health counselors are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of providing high quality care in a cost-effective manner. Clinical mental health counselors practice in a variety of settings, including independent practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, employee assistance programs, and substance abuse treatment centers (AMHCA, 2013). In response to the increasing scope of the problems associated with mental illness, along with improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, a number of states and the federal government have taken steps in recent years to improve access to mental illness services via mandated mental health benefits (Markowitz, 2005). Among these mandates are mental health parity laws which prohibit insurance companies from offering plans that place greater financial burden on services for mental health conditions than for physical health conditions. Such laws are designed to lower the price of mental health services faced by insured individuals, improve access to treatment, and ultimately to improve mental health outcomes. However, it is possible that these laws might raise the cost of providing insurance, thereby reducing access. Many state and community mental health programs currently are in a state of organizational transition, as attempts are made to manage human and financial resources while providing quality mental health services (Gladding & Newsome, 2010, p. 322). According to Ellis, Konrad, Thomas & Morrissey national workforce planning efforts and state licensing boards would benefit from the cnetral collection of standardized practice information from clinically active providers in all mental health professions (2009). Counselor stamina is deemed essential in the midst of a consistently challenging, complex, and...
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