UPDATED December 21, 2022

Great news! This week, the New York State legislature once again sent A1171A to the Governor’s desk for her signature.

The bill, which was passed by the legislature in May, would require private insurance companies to cover mental health services. It would make it possible for services by LCATs to be reimbursed by insurance—a huge step forward in achieving parity between art therapists and other mental health professions in the state.

We need to act now to ensure that Governor Kathy Hochul signs the bill into law in its current form.  As you may be aware, the governor recently excluded art therapists specifically from a similar bill, S7761, which expanded Medicaid coverage to include licensed mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists.

In June, AATA sent a letter to Gov. Hochul, urging her to sign the bill into law in its current form.

AATA’s Letter to Governor Hochul

Now it’s your turn to let your voice be heard!

Use the template message below or share your own story about why Governor Hochul must sign A1171A to support mental health care. Contact her online through this link then share your response with the AATA National Office in the AATA member forum.

Sample message:

Gov. Hochul, 

I am a Licensed Creative Art Therapist (LCAT) in __[YOUR CITY]_____, NY, and provide essential mental health care to many New Yorkers. I am writing to express my support for A1171A in its current form, which requires private insurance companies to cover mental health services, including art therapy. From the increase in mental health issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the racial trauma so many are experiencing, and the seemingly unending waves of violence in New York and the rest of the nation, now is the time to expand access to affordable mental health care. Art therapists like me are credentialed mental health clinicians with Master’s level (or higher) degrees trained in art and therapy that serve diverse communities. Art therapy is particularly effective during times of crisis, especially in coping with isolation, changes in circumstance, trauma, and grief—and with people struggling to benefit from talk therapy interventions.

Please sign A1171A in its current form today and allow New Yorkers to have access to mental health services, especially as we face a mental health crisis in our state and across the country!



Also, check out and share this amazing testimonial video from NYATA discussing the importance of access to affordable art therapy services!