Counselor visits lawmakers

Jan Roberson Stogner is pictured meeting with Sen. Jason Howell at his office in Frankfort.

FRANKFORT - The importance of counseling in Kentucky has never been more evident than during the past year with the COVID pandemic and the isolation of everyone in Kentucky. A recent meeting with Sen. Jason Howell allowed a local counselor to share the progress of this profession with the senator.

The president of the Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA), Dr. Rebecca Pender Baum, was scheduled to share this meeting, but due to a family emergency, was unable to meet with Sen. Howell. During the pandemic, she was a leading force in initiating Tele-Mental Health services to children and families throughout the state.   

A recent planned Virtual Advocacy Day on the Hill allowed many counselors to communicate with their representatives in Frankfort during the short legislative session which ended March 31.  Because of scheduling difficulties, it was impossible to complete the meetings with Sen. Howell and Rep. Mary Beth Imes.

On April 15, Jan Roberson Stogner, KCA Advocacy chairperson, met with Sen. Howell to discuss counseling issues and progress in Kentucky. Stogner brought expressions of appreciation for all of the progress made in this year’s legislative session for counselors, families and young people in Kentucky. She came to realize that Sen. Howell, a first- year senator from Murray, was very well informed about the counseling profession and offered great support for the progress of counseling in Kentucky. They discussed various bills which passed this year related to counseling and Stogner shared with Senator Howell a summary of the bills which passed this session which will lead to progress in meeting Kentucky’s needs for counseling services in the state.