Behavioral health providers and peer support specialists serve people who seek help for a variety of mental health and substance use needs, in settings from prevention programs to community-based and inpatient treatment programs. Many types of behavioral health providers and peer support specialists exist to serve a variety of patients.
The links to the right lead to maps showing a comparison of all states and territories for the following five policy areas:
1) addiction counselor credentialing
2) licensed professional counselors’ ability to diagnose
3) authority for nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products after receiving a waiver from the federal Controlled Substance Act’s special registration requirements
4) authority for physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products after receiving a waiver from the federal Controlled Substance Act’s special registration requirements
5) peer support specialist certification
Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) and other non-physician mental health professionals provide most mental health services in the U.S., often working in community-based settings where psychiatrist shortages exist. In some states, LPCs are referred to as licensed mental health counselors. LPCs are typically master’s-degree mental health service providers, but may also hold a doctoral degree.
Licensed professional counselors’ authority to diagnose patients’ mental illness varies by state statute. Diagnosis is often important for further developing effective patient treatment plans based on individual needs. Without diagnostic ability, LPCs often must refer patients to other licensed professionals with authority to diagnose mental disorders (e.g., psychiatrists).