House supports Ziemke’s bill expanding addiction, mental health resources for Hoosiers

Posted by: Abigail Campbell  | Wednesday, February 13, 2019 11:00 am

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 13, 2019) – The House of Representatives Tuesday supported State Rep. Cindy Ziemke’s (R-Batesville) legislation allowing more qualified health professionals to treat services to Hoosiers struggling with addiction or mental health.

Currently, licensed social workers, mental health counselors, clinical addiction counselors and marriage and family therapists have the ability to provide outpatient treatment, but a doctor must provide additional oversight. These clinical social workers have the skills necessary to administer these programs without that oversight.

“Allowing these clinical social workers to independently administer outpatient treatment to Hoosiers is imperative to bolstering our health workforce and fighting the opioid epidemic,” Ziemke said. “Current barriers cause our clinical social workers to find work in other states where they can work freely. We need to provide these professionals the flexibility to help those struggling with addiction or mental health.”

Ziemke said these licensed social workers, mental health counselors, clinical addiction counselors, and marriage and family therapists would need to possess a master’s degree in order to offer outpatient treatment to patients.

House Bill 1175 now moves to the Senate for consideration. For more information, click here.

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State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents House District 55, which includes 
all of Fayette County and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.