Obama signs Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill into law
The goal of the legislation is to improve mental services for veterans.
A 2006 law allowed the VA to hire LMFTs, but it required LMFT applicants to have come from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
Many programs in California, however, predate the establishment of COAMFTE. The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), which represents 32,000 marriage and family therapists, advocated for the law to be changed, removing the COAMFTE requirement.
“California has the largest veteran population in the nation and over 40,000 LMFTs,” CAMFT Executive Director Jill Epstein said. “Given the documented challenges with veterans’ access to mental health services, CAMFT is pleased to have LMFTs be part of the solution.”
Upon enactment of the law, CAMFT will reach out to VA clinics in California to help facilitate opportunities for LMFTS.
“The passing of this law is a great achievement for CAMFT, a great opportunity for LMFTs and a great option for our country’s veterans,” Epstein said. “We look forward to working with the VA on the implementation of this historic legislation.”