Pass the Hat Campaign:

Benefitting Tennessee Counseling Association's Legislative Action Fund

Donations (TCA Members, Non-Members will be added to our mailing list): Click Here

Private Donation (personal information is not added to our mailing list): Click Here

 


 

Advocacy

Our profession is impacted at local, state and federal levels. We represent the voice of Tennessee counselors at each of those levels. Stay up to date with how you can affect public policy. Just like the rest of our work, it all starts with the relationship. Get to know your elected officials. Download the GoVoteTN app to find out who your elected officials are, who is on upcoming ballots and voter information. Your officials represent you. Make sure you let them know what you think, what you care about.

Local Initiatives

  • School Boards
  • City Councils

State Initiatives

  • Find My Representative
  • Department of Education
  • Upcoming Legislation
  • Board of Licensed Professional Counselors

Federal Initiatives

  • Medicare Coverage for LPCs & LMFTs
  • School Counselors & ESSA
  • Tricare Reimbursement

National Initiatives

  • LPC License Portability
  • ASCA National Standards
  • Coaching Standardization

 

Ways to Effectively Affect Public Policy

1.  It starts with a relationship.

Get to know your officials. They can only represent you if they know you and what you stand for. Call them, visit them while they are at home in their districts, attend their functions and invite them to your functions. A school or facility tour will help them understand the work you do and the environment you work in better.

2. Visit, Call, Email in that order.

When something is up for debate, let your representative know what you think about it. Visits are best, but if you can’t make it in person, a phone call works well, too. Emails are much less effective but better than nothing.

3. Vote.

Make sure that you are actively engaged in selecting our representatives. Make sure your representatives know that you are actively engaged. It matters that they see you as someone who is informed and is active.

4. Be Polite.

When we passionately disagree with people, it can be easy to forget to be polite. In fact, in the current political climate, being polite is often viewed negatively. That does not change the fact that we are counselors and we value the dignity of all humans and we should behave accordingly – even when we passionately disagree.


 

One Counselor’s Story of Advocacy: SB341/HB720

Our very own, Tracy Cagle, a retired school counselor in Knox County, was tired of not being able to help her students get the additional mental health care they needed. As a school counselor, she would hear from teachers and see first hand a student struggling in ways that were not related to special education needs, but serious. Because of prior lawsuits resulting in referrals from school staff requiring schools to pay for mental health care, many districts do not allow school counselors to refer to mental health providers unless it is educationally significant. Tracy knew we could do better than that for our students. School counselors serve an important role in the continuum of mental health and emotional wellbeing. By seeing risk factors and early emergence of emotional suffering, they can facilitate the proper care and help prevent the emergence of serious mental and behavioral health conditions.

With this in mind, Tracy worked with Senator Frank Nicely (R-Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, and Union Counties), Representative Antonio Parkinson (D-part of Shelby Co.) and our TCA Lobbyist, Chris Ford, to craft bi-partisan legislation that allows for proper referrals to mental health services without disrupting educational and other services in place in schools.

TCA is proud to have members like Tracy who take a proactive approach of promoting counseling in Tennessee!

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 TCA Leaders head to Capitol Hill: 2018