State Rep. Ziemke's Drug Addiction, Mental Health Treatment Bill Awaiting Gov Signature

Licensed social workers and mental health providers would no longer be required to have doctor oversight while treating patients.

State Rep. Cindy Ziemke

(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana may relax some rules in order to provide more drug treatment and mental health services to those in need.

State Representative Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) says there are excessive oversight restrictions on counselors and mental health professionals. She authored House Enrolled Act 1175 with the hopes of expanding mental health resources, drug treatment and addiction services throughout the state.

Under current Indiana law, licensed social workers and mental health providers must be supervised by a doctor while giving treatment.

“These barriers push qualified clinical social workers to look for work in other states with this law already in place,” Ziemke said. “Indiana should provide them the flexibility to administer treatment plans to those struggling with addiction or mental health issues. Our state faces a workforce shortage in the health care field, and this legislation could help attract qualified individuals to work in our communities.”

The bill proposes allowing licensed social workers, therapists and counselors to administer outpatient treatment to patients struggling with addiction or mental health. 

Ziemke said licensed professionals would need to possess a master’s degree before they could offer outpatient treatment.

HEA 1175 passed the House and Senate with unanimous votes. The legislation is now waiting for Governor Eric Holcomb’s signature into law.

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