WHAT THE HECK IS BHEC?

BHEC stands for the Texas Behavioral Executive Council. During the last Texas Legislative 86th Session, the government action side of TAMFT helped to pass this important and strategic bill that allowed for the creation of a new government agency, the BHEC. 

BHEC is a functionally aligned umbrella agency to provide administrative services and support to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists (TSBEMFT), the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (TSBEPC), the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE), and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP).  

Why Is This Important for You?

Currently all mental health licenses are housed inside Heath and Human Service Commission and have to rely on their staff for help in processing applications, handling renewals and disciplinary actions. Let's not forget, what courses make up getting a license and the CEUs licensees have to take to keep the license. While all of the fees generated by the LMFT, LPC, social workers, and psychology are handed over, WE DIDN’T GET TO KEEP THE MONEY. That’s right, there has never been a line item in the Texas state budget for mental health.

Why Is That Important? 

Like we said, with no line item on the budget, other agency budgets had to find some money from their budgets to help staff our licenses, which got us those helpful items like the LICENSE!

Why Is the BHEC Such a Big Deal?

The BHEC was five years in the making created out of a process called Sunset. It was determined that all mental health licenses, MFT, LPC, social workers, and psychologists could no longer be housed within HHSC. After many years of discussions and meeting with legislators over multiple sessions, the idea of a new agency was agreed upon with one provision. The new agency had to recognize and keep intact the independent rule making authority of each mental health board. Each step of the way TAMFT Legislative Committee was instrumental in accomplishing this goal. 

Who Cares?

You need to. Do you want the social workers telling you how your license should be handled or the psychologists setting the requirements for our MFT license? NO. We know how our license needs to be regulated according to our individual stances on approaches to mental health care.  Each board feels the same way. 

So BHEC was created as the first such agency of its kind in America. That’s right; BHEC is the first of its kind in America and TEXAS IS FIRST. This can set the stage for all mental health to receive the same government help and attention that physical health does. Other states have put mental health boards into one agency but took away the individual boards ability to still regulate and set the rules for the license. BHEC ensured the boards are still in power. 

So It's All Over?

No, the team is still meeting to finalize all the new rules that a government agency goes through and currently is looking over 175 pages of legal jargon.  TAMFT will continue to bring you updates and information that will help you with questions during this time. 

Visit the Executive Council's new website at www.bhec.texas.gov for updates on this new state agency and important information concerning the regulation of marriage and family therapists.

Thank you for your support!