Thank you for considering writing an Op-Ed in support of the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R. 432). Please see the following resources to help you complete this project. If you have any questions, please email FamilyTEAM@aamft.org.
As you know, AAMFT is supporting legislation, the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (HR 432/ S 828), which would allow MFTs and MHCs to serve as Medicare providers. Over the past few years, AAMFT has sent messages to you and Family TEAM members to contact your Members of Congress to advocate for this important legislation.
AAMFT, along with several other mental health associations, is in a coalition, the Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition, that advocates for passage of the Mental Health Access Improvement Act. In order to increase support from Members of Congress for this important legislation, AAMFT and its partners are asking therapists and counselors across the country to submit op-eds advocating for MFTs and MHCs in Medicare to local newspapers.
We have outlined the steps below:
If you would like to view a video on writing op-eds, click here to view the Family TEAM training video on writing a successful op-ed. Can't view the video? Consider joining the Family TEAM to access this, and many other advocacy resources.
- Drafting an Op-ed: The Coalition has created an op-ed template, which can be found below. The template includes six standard paragraphs plus two optional paragraphs for inclusion in your letter. Please add your personal story or examples about the need for the recognition of MFTs as Medicare providers, as this will be the most important section of the op-ed. You do not need to show your op-ed to AAMFT before sending the article to newspapers, but feel free to send the draft to AAMFT at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to look at the draft.
- Selecting the Newspaper: Select one newspaper to contact to request placement of your op-eds. Lists of major newspapers can be found here and here. The ideal papers are the major daily papers in your community. Other local papers, such as weekly papers covering smaller communities, are also good.
- Contacting the Newspapers: Send an email or call the editorial department of the newspaper. A sample email to the newspaper can be found below. Please follow up with the newspaper if you do not receive a response within a few days. If you or the editors think that the draft is too long, even with just the standard paragraphs and your personal story, please edit the document. Some newspapers might have strict word limits for articles.
- Informing AAMFT of the Outcome: Please let AAMFT know if an article has been accepted for publication, and when the article is expected to be published. Please also let us know if the newspapers have either rejected the article or have otherwise not responded to you. We realize that not all newspapers will include this op-ed. If you do not hear back from the newspaper or the paper refuses to run the article, feel free to select another newspaper to contact.
- Email us at FamilyTEAM@aamft.org
An example of an Op-Ed from an AAMFT member that was published last year can be found here .