Here are the ways you can help:
Attend the hearing. There is strength in numbers, and the committee members will note our energy and commitment to the bill. The bill will be heard on Wed afternoon/evening.
Submit written testimony. Share your own story about how this bill could positively impact you. See instructions below.
Present oral testimony. Come to the hearing and read your 3-minute testimony to members of the committee.

ANYONE CAN ATTEND AND ANYONE CAN SUBMIT TESTIMONY – WE CAN HELP YOU!
The experiences and stories of students, educators, supervisors, practitioners and members of the community are all critical to moving this bill through.

If you can attend or provide testimony, contact fossl1@southernct.edu for support. We want to have all testimony submitted by Tuesday at noon, so act now!

As always, we thank you for your hard work and support.
CCA Executive Board

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING WRITTEN TESTIMONY:

Below is a template you can use to structure your written testimony. Legislators tend not to read testimony that appears to be form letter, so it is vital that you use your own words, font, structure, and unique story. When you are finished, you can submit your testimony via email to phctestimony@cga.ct.gov. The following is a template for your testimony.

Testimony before the Public Health Committee
RE: Senate Bill 133 An Act Concerning Licensure for Professional Counselors
Public Health Committee, February 17, 2016

Senator Gerratana, Representative Ritter, and esteemed members of the Public Health Committee:

My name is (YOUR NAME) and (I am graduate student in the counseling program at xx university) or (LPC in practice at xx agency, etc). As a (student embarking on a career in mental healthcare) or (mental health clinician in the community), I wish to voice my support for SB 133 if the changes proposed by CCA are accepted. (It is critical to reference the CCA proposed edits in your testimony.)

HERE YOU COULD INDICATE:
YOUR REASONS FOR BECOMING A COUNSELOR OR WHAT CAREER PATH AS A COUNSELOR YOU WANT TO PURSUE. HELP THEM UNDERSTAND WHO YOU ARE AND WHY YOUR STORY SHOULD MATTER TO THEM.

SOME VARIATION OF THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE:
SB 133 would create a two-tiered licensure structure to allow individuals graduating from a program that meets specific training criteria to apply to be a Licensed Master Professional Counselor (LMPC) immediately upon graduation. LMPCs would practice counseling under the supervision of an independently licensed mental health clinician. The current counseling license (LPC) would be renamed Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). This two-tiered structure is used in 37 states and is similar to the social work license in Connecticut and the proposed MFT legislation (SB 68).

SB 133 would also greatly enhance curricular and supervision standards. It would require graduate coursework equivalent to the accreditation standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), the national gold standard in counselor education and supervision.

IN PLAIN TERMS, WHY YOU CARE ABOUT THIS BILL. REASONS COULD INCLUDE – CHOOSE 1-2 OR ADD YOUR OWN:
· YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT FINDING A COUNSELING JOB WITHOUT A PROFESSIONAL LICENSE
· YOUR BELIEF IN THE VALUE OF YOUR EDUCATION/PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION IN PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING
· YOUR DESIRE TO HAVE PRIDE IN YOUR WORTH AS A PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR
· YOUR CONCERN FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE COUNSELING PROFESSION AND ITS FUTURE IN CT

YOU SUMMARY ABOUT WHY YOU PERSONALLY FEEL THIS IS IMPORTANT AND HOW IT WILL IMPACT YOU AND YOUR FUTURE CLIENTS.

END WITH SOME VARIATION OF THE FOLLOWING:
We therefore urge the committee to support SB 133 for the benefit of professional counselors and the many individuals they serve.

Respectfully,

YOUR NAME, HIGHEST ACADEMIC CREDENTIAL, ANY OTHER LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS,
JOB TITLE IF PERTINENT TO MENTAL HEALTH
YOUR TOWN