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Florida is facing a shortage of mental health counselors. Joining a 10-state licensing compact could help

Lawmakers in the Capitol building are considering a measure that would make it easier for mental health counselors to move to the state. (Erich Martin/WFSU)

Florida is facing a shortage of mental health counselors. Karla Sapp with the Florida Counseling Association says that shortage comes as the need for mental health support is growing.

“As highlighted by the opioid epidemic, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and rural healthcare disparities,” Sapp says.

Sen. Anna Maria Rodriguez (R-Doral) is pushing a bill she says would make it easier for counselors to move to Florida, or to remotely work with clients in the state. Under her measure Florida would join the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact. The agreement would allow counselors in participating states to apply to have their qualifications extended to another participating state.

To be enacted, ten states must join the compact. So far just two states are members.

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