School of Social Work Students Attend Student Advocacy Day on the Hill

Posted by Juan.Toribio on Thursday March 3, 2016

Eighteen students from the Nyack College School of Social Work travelled to Washington DC to attend Student Advocacy Day on the Hill. The goal of the event was to discuss how policy is shaped and learn the critical issues that affect the social work profession. This year's event focused on H.R. 3712, the Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015. Social workers are the largest group of mental health service providers (over 200,000 nationwide). Federal law recognizes social work as one of the core mental health professions, yet Medicare reimburses social workers at a lower rate than the 85% reimbursement that other non-physician practitioners (eg. physical therapist and occupational therapist) receive. The Improving Access to Mental Health Act if 2015/HR allows licensed social workers to receive the same Medicare reimbursement as other non-physician practitioners. 
Students had the pleasure and honor of meeting with Congressman Jose Serrano. They shared compelling stories and asked Rep. Serrano to cosponsor The Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015/ H.R.3712 and he agreed! Students were empowered by the impact that they could have on legislation, so much so that they are already planning next year's trip to Student Advocacy Day on the Hill.
Mayra Lopez-Humphreys
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