Counseling/Therapy seeks to provide a space where people can feel free to talk about their most inner thoughts. This consists of disclosing fears, concerns, situational problems, etc. Counseling/Therapy is a vehicle that drives a person to create change within themselves by recognizing ways to address/cope with the presenting issue (s). It is a place that everyone should have the opportunity to engage in, if desired, especially during hard times, such as the current pandemic.
With that said, I believe it is a good thing that a bipartisan bill was introduced to the Colorado House of Representatives on April 6, 2021. It was HB21-1258. The bill seeks to provide individuals under the age of 18, temporary mental health support, through 3 free sessions with a mental health professional. The program would run through June 2022.
There is recognization that a lot of people are struggling right now, especially our youth. They are/have been experiencing a lot of changes that they may not understand why or know how to communicate their feelings regarding the uncertainty. Services can either be in person or virtual, and the clinician would be reimbursed for the service, through a $9,000,000 budget.
There are opponents asking a valid question, but what happens after the 3 sessions? They believe 3 sessions are enough, which may be true. However, 3 sessions are a great start and are better than no service than all. A lot can happen in those 3 sessions, such as having their voice heard, creating coping strategies, and giving the message, that counseling/therapy is ok. As the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) promotes, “It is ok not to be ok.” They erase the stigma of seeking mental health support, to which I believe this bill does as well. It can reach populations who would not otherwise seek out these services. What do you think? Are you in support of the bill? Tweet @walking_the talk to let me know.
You can learn more about the bill at:
About the author