1987 – Georgia Mental Health Counselors Association (GMHCA) Becomes LPCA of Georgia
Dr. Chuck Goodrum, GMHCA President and American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) Georgia State Coordinator, secured financial assistance from AMHCA to establish a state affiliated association and chartered it as one of AMHCA’s early members.
Dr. Goodrum served as its first president from 1987 to 1990. The organization’s new name became Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia. LPCA of GA is an independent organization and a state chapter of AMHCA which is a division of American Counselors Association (ACA).
1988 – First LPCA Convention
The first LPCA convention was held at Ridgeview Institute in Smyrna, Georgia with twenty-five attendees and established free continuing education workshops as a primary membership benefit. Today, LPCA provides free continuing education workshops for licensure, expanded association and collaboration with other organizations, acts as a strong advocate to negotiate with other professional groups, and as a legislative consultant to look after LPCA interests.
In 1989, at LPCA’s request, Governor Joe Frank Harris proclaimed the week of May 7–13, 1989, as Mental Health Counselors’ Week in honor and recognition of health care professionals and the vital services they render.
In 1991, also at LPCA’s request, Governor Zell Miller proclaimed the week of May 5–11, 1991, as Mental Health Counselors’ Week. This is in recognition that mental health counselors’ work is a specialized field of counseling that emphasizes the developmental and adjustive nature of mental health services.
In 1995, the Georgia Legislature passed The Privileged Communication Law. LPCA lobbied to include LPCs in this law that would protect Mental Health Professionals in matters of professional duty. This is now in the law as the Scope of Practice Act.
In 1995, LPCA held its first Annual Legislative Breakfast. Spearheaded by LPCA’s Government Relations Committee as a new innovative approach to educating legislators about LPCs, this special breakfast was first of its kind, widely received by Georgia legislators (House Representatives and Senators), and was very well attended several years running.
On February 6, 2006, at LPCA’s request, Governor Sonny Perdue signed the Mental Health Awareness Proclamation encouraging all Georgians to work together to promote the mental health of all our residents. Also in 2006, Governor Perdue proclaimed the month of September as Georgia Addiction Recovery Month. LPCA supported the efforts of Dr. Jan Ligon, LCSW who was chairman of Georgia Composite Board of LPC, SW and MFT, and Past President of NASW-GA.
On October 11, 2008 at LPCA’s request, three mental health professional organizations, LPCA of GA, NASW-GA and GAMFT, collaborated in resolution in support of the Governor’s plan to reorganize Georgia social service agencies into three new departments.
On May 1, 2014, Governor Nathan Deal declared the month of May Mental Health Awareness Month by signing the LPCA Proclamation promoting the mental health of all our residents and encouraging all to use Licensed Professional Counselors.
In 2014, LPCA was successful in getting LPCs added to the current list providers who can sign the emergency transport form called the 10-13 MH and 20-13 Addictions for a client who is suicidal or homicidal.
In 2016, LPCA works to gain Diagnose for LPCs. LPCs may not diagnose until that word is added to the law under the LPC Scope of Practice. LPCA continues to work to pass this legislation.
In 2002, LPCA of GA received national recognition at the Annual Conference of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) by becoming the proud recipient of an award for Outstanding State Chapter.
In 2004, LPCA of GA received a national award, Outstanding Service to Members, Large State Chapter, at the AMHCA Annual Conference.
In 2008, LPCA of GA received the premier national distinction by the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) as the Most Outstanding State Chapter Association. LPCA of GA was recognized for its exemplary service to members, most extensive member benefits, most active advocacy group, and largest membership of over 2,600 Professional Counselors.
In 2014, LPCA of GA received the “Most Outstanding State Chapter Award” for exceptional services to members.