Governor signs Psychology Compact bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Chambers to help those struggling with mental health and addiction challenges

Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Chambers to make Washington the 29th state in the nation to join the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT).

PSYPACT is an interstate compact designed to facilitate the practice of telepsychology and the temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology across state boundaries. The goal of the compact is to increase access to care and facilitate the coordination and continuity of care when a patient travels or relocates. Under House Bill 1286, qualified psychologists in Washington will be authorized to practice telepsychology, as well as 30 days of in-person psychology, in the 28 other states that are part of the compact.

Chambers' bill is supported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Washington State Psychological Association, the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Department of Defense. It will go into effect 90 days after the adjournment of the 2022 legislative session.

“In a recent scientific brief, the World Health Organization revealed that in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent. In addition to these challenges, we know substance abuse has also worsened over the last two years,” said Chambers, R-Puyallup. “Even before the pandemic struck, however, Washington was dealing with a mental and behavioral health crisis due to a shortage of providers and lack of access to services. While the Legislature has been working to increase funding for mental and behavioral health care in recent years, we know there is much more work to do. House Bill 1286 represents a positive step forward in our journey. By entering Washington into the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact with 28 other states, we are removing a significant barrier to access and ensuring continuity of care for more of our residents. I am grateful for the overwhelming support this bill received throughout the legislative session and thank the governor for signing it into law.”

To learn more about PSYPACT, click here.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov