Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

Sunset Mental Health Professionals

Concerning the continuation of the regulation of mental health professionals, and, in connection therewith, implementing recommendations contained in the 2019 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies.
2020 Regular Session
Professions & Occupations
Bill Summary

The act implements recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies in its sunset review and report on the regulation of mental health professionals as follows:

  • Continues the regulation of mental health professionals for 9 years, until September 1, 2029;
  • Clarifies that mental health professionals may possess, furnish, and administer opiate antagonists;
  • Exempts students who are enrolled in a school program and are practicing as part of a school practicum or clinical program;
  • Grants title protection to additional persons practicing in the mental health field;
  • Makes the conviction of a crime that is related to mental health practice a violation of the mental health practice acts;
  • Authorizes the appropriate mental health board to suspend a mental health professional's license, certification, or registration for the failure to comply with a board-ordered mental or physical examination; and
  • Repeals the requirement that members of the mental health boards must be United States citizens.

In addition to implementing the sunset recommendations, the act:

  • Allows the staff of a mental health board to approve applications for licensure, certification, and registration without ratification from the respective board unless the board deems ratification necessary;
  • Clarifies that licensees, certificate holders, and registrants are not required to form a professional service corporation;
  • Exempts persons performing auricular acudetox from licensing, certification, and registration requirements;
  • Creates the mental health disciplinary record work group for the purpose of making legislative and rulemaking recommendations concerning records that impact the initial licensure, certification, registration, and ongoing practice of mental health professionals;
  • Clarifies when a mental health professional may disclose a client's confidential communications;
  • Clarifies that it is not a prohibited activity for a mental health professional to offer or accept payment for services provided in connection with a referral as long as the payment is not for the referral itself;
  • Prohibits a contract entered into by a mental health professional for marketing, office space, administrative support, or any other overhead expense from providing remuneration for referrals of clients or patients or otherwise creating financial benefit or incentive to the mental health professional;
  • Allows supervision of an applicant for a social worker license to be done virtually and by a person other than a licensed social worker;
  • Creates a registration process for clinical social work candidates;
  • States that, for licensed social workers or licensed clinical social workers, course work is the only professional competency activity that can fulfill all the continuing competency requirements;
  • Requires applicants for psychology licensure to complete a name-based criminal history record check upon initial application;
  • Requires applicants for a professional counselor license to complete 2,000 hours of practice in counseling, including at least 1,500 hours of face-to-face direct client contact under clinical supervision;
  • Changes the name of "registered psychotherapists" to "unlicensed psychotherapists", allows current psychotherapists to continue to practice as unlicensed psychotherapists, and prohibits the registration of any new psychotherapists with the board of unlicensed psychotherapists;
  • Repeals the provision allowing a licensed mental health professional or a licensure candidate to register with the database of unlicensed psychologists; and
  • Changes the titles of certified addiction counselors to "certified addiction technicians" and "certified addiction specialists" and changes the scope of practice and educational requirements for the certificate holders.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details