Mental Health Counselor

Rules in Progress

The rules writing process is open to the public. The public is welcome to take part in helping us write rules. Rules are also known as regulations, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC. The rule-making process includes public notices and workshops, and usually a public hearing before a rule becomes final.

To receive information about rule making and other topics related to mental health counselors, subscribe for updates at the bottom of the page.

Current rules in progress

Chapter 246-809 WAC Re-Write and Health Equity Continuing Education Draft Rules

The Department of Health filed a CR-102 with the Office of the Code Reviser (WSR 23-17-075) proposing to amend WACs 246-809-095, 246-809-110, 246-809-130, 246-809-210, 246-809-310, 246-809-320, 246-809-330, 246-809- 610, 246-809-630, 246-809-632, 246-809-650, and 246-809-730 in chapter 246-809 WAC, licensure for mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers to implement several bills, including (1) Second Substitute House Bill (2SHB) 1724 (chapter 425, Laws of 2023), which lowers barriers to entering the behavioral health workforce; (2) Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 5229 (chapter 276, Laws of 2021), which requires many health care providers to complete health equity continuing education; and (3) Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1551 (chapter 76, Laws of 2020), which repealed HIV/AIDS training for health care providers. 
Additionally, the department is proposing amendments to remove the limits on distance learning and make other updates and clarifications.
You can comment on the proposed rule in the following ways:
Submit written comments by October 5, 2023, using one of the following options:

  1. The department’s online rules comment webpage 
  2. The U.S. Mail: Lana Crawford, P.O. Box 47850 Olympia, WA 98504-7850
  3. Attend the online rules hearing on October 5, 2023, at 2 p.m. 

Register in advance for the rules hearing.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the October 5, 2023, webinar.
Contact Lana Crawford by email or call 564-669-1455 if you have any questions.
Important Information for the Rules Hearing:

  • In order to give verbal testimony during the online rules hearing, you will need to access the meeting using your computer, laptop, or device. Your computer, laptop, or device must have speakers, and microphone in order to give verbal testimony.
  • If you select to use only your phone, an option given during registration, Zoom will automatically enter you into the meeting in ‘listen-only’ mode. The application cannot unmute individual callers who select to use only their phone to access the meeting. 

After October 5, the department will:

  • review all submitted comments and testimony.
  • determine if the proposed rules can move forward as written or require any changes (based on comments / testimony).
  • provide responses to all submitted comments / testimony.

More agency rule resources