COLUMBUS– State Rep. Russo (D-Upper Arlington) gave sponsor testimony before the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee on House Bill (HB) 359, which would create a state licensure process for both music and art therapists.
“As art and music therapy become more common treatment alternatives, especially for our most vulnerable populations, we must work to ensure that art and music therapists are properly educated, trained, and qualified to deliver quality care.” said Rep. Russo.
Studies have shown art and music therapy to be effective at reducing rates of depression, anxiety, stress and burnout. These alternative forms of therapy have been successfully used to treat individuals diagnosed with neurological impairments, mental health disorders, substance abuse disorder, as well as veterans and those struggling with loss, violence, or other trauma.
The bipartisan bill, introduced in July 2021 with Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord), would:
Create licensing requirements for the practice of music therapy to be issued by the Ohio State Medical Board
Create licensing requirements for the practice of art therapy to be issued by the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist (CSW) Board
Create the Music Therapy Advisory committee to provide expertise in the regulation of music therapy practices and empower the Buckeye Art Therapist Association to advise on practices related to art therapy
Provide for each board to establish standards for the ethical practice of art and music therapy and clearly define a licensee’s scope of practice
Currently, there is no criteria in the Ohio Revised Code to ensure that art therapists and music therapists are qualified to perform therapeutic treatments and assessments, despite a substantial amount of research and evidenced-based guidance for establishing standards and best practices for these therapies. Art therapy is a regulated mental health profession in 15 states and the District of Columbia, including Connecticut, Kentucky, and most recently, Tennessee
The bill now awaits further hearings in the House State and Local Committee.