Christine (left) and Emily (right) with State Senator Capri S. Cafaro (middle). On April 12, 2016, JCU Beta Chi students Christine Banks-VanAllen, Samantha Arrowsmith, Rose Malcom, and Emily Vermillion participated in the Ohio Counseling Association Legislative Advocacy Day in Columbus, Ohio. The event took place at the Vern Riffe Center and at the State house in downtown Columbus. The purpose of the OCA Advocacy day was to advocate for legislation that would benefit the counseling profession. One main piece of legislation that was advocated for was amending the House Bill 217 (Mental Health Hold) to include License Professional Clinical Counselors. The House Bill 217 amendment would allow LPCCs to place a mental health hold (pink slip) on their clients should they present a substantial risk to themselves or others. Additionally, aspects of the Behavioral Health Redesign were addressed. Within the Behavioral Health Redesign bill, advocates expressed the need for reimbursing community counselors at an equitable rate to other mental health providers when going through Medicaid.
Rose (on the left end) and Samantha (3rd in from the left) with State Senator Michael Skindell's legislative aid Tony. Rose, Samantha, Christine, and Emily attended group meetings with the senators that represented their place of residence. During the meetings, they had the chance to personally advocate for the House Bill 217 amendment and for the changes to the Behavioral Health Redesign. Christine and Emily met with State Senator Capril S. Carfaro. Unfortunately, State Senator Micheal Skindell was not available for a meeting. However, Samantha and Rose met with Tony, Skindell's legislative aid.
Ohio State House The JCU counseling community would like to thank Beta Chi for attending OCA Advocacy Day and advocating for the counseling profession. “You may have come to advocacy on your own, it may be part of your job or you may have been asked to “put a face” on a campaign by serving as its spokesperson. You may be acting as a lone crusader or as part of a larger advocacy effort. Either way, you share an objective with all other advocates: to have your story move audiences from apathy to empathy to action.” ― John Capecci and Timothy Cage
, Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference
By, Samantha Arrowsmith