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NYATA is Advancing Mental Health in NY State

The New York Art Therapy Association is dedicated to advancing mental health in New York State. We recognize that there is a crisis in mental health in New York. The following information in this packet is to provide information to you regarding Art Therapy and how it can meet the needs of those in such crisis in New York.

There are two major issues of concern to New York residents. This first is that Art Therapy services are currently not reimbursable by Medicaid. This barrier hinders the most vulnerable individuals from accessing this type of care, especially during crisis situations.

The second concern deals with the following agencies; OMH, OASAS, OPWDD, OCFS, DOCS and SOFA being granted an exemption from employing licensed Art Therapists in their facilities.

These exemptions may become permanent. New York State in particular requires Art

Therapists to be licensed by the state. This ensures proper training both academically and on the job. It also allows for specific security and measures to be taken when licensing mental health professionals that help provide therapeutic services to the public.

NYS licensed Art Therapists adhere to a very specific code of conduct and ethics. This cannot be confirmed for those exempt organizations. The public may unknowingly receive services from individuals who are insufficiently trained in Art Therapy and do not adhere to the code of conduct and ethics outlined by the state of New York. Individuals promoting themselves as Art Therapists, or able to provide art therapy services are in inhibiting our profession to serve those in need. We urge you to oppose permanent exemption from the licensure law for OMH, OASAS, OPWDD, OCFS, DOCS and SOFA until July 1, 2016 [additional three (3) years] as recommended by the Medicaid Redesign Team.

Also, we are also advocating for clarifying the scopes of practices for those licensed underArticle 163 to include diagnose and treat as recommended by the New York State Education Department’s Report to the Legislature and Executive Pursuant to Chapters 130 & 131 of the Laws of 2010.

We hope that you find this packet comprehensive and educational to assist you in making an informed decision that will only benefit the lives of those in need as well as help the state of New York to remain at the forefront of promoting proper standards and access to quality therapeutic services.

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