TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that would enter New Jersey into the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) was passed today by the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
The bill, S-2506, establishes a mechanism for licensed psychologists to provide psychological services to patients in other states and jurisdictions through the use of telehealth and telemedicine and also by temporarily recognizing a license issued by another jurisdiction for the purposes of permitting the psychologist to provide in person services outside the licensing jurisdiction.
“As with so many other aspects of modern medical care in the 21st Century, psychologists and mental health professionals have sought to adjust and adapt to more flexible protocols in recent years, and especially during these months of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Gopal (D-Monmouth). “By entering New Jersey into this inter-jurisdictional professional compact, consumers will have increased access to psychological and other mental health services.”
Research in the psychological field has shown that these services are particularly conducive for the use of telecommunication modalities, since they primarily involve verbal communication without the need of medical equipment or physical intervention. Entering into the compact will allow a continuity of these services that might otherwise be interrupted or suspended by reasons of geography, such as a person transferring to a new job, or a student going to college out of state.
“We are living through some of the most anxious days many of us will see in our lifetimes,” said Senator Gopal. “Making sure that all those suffering from anxiety or emotional stress receive the psychological or mental health services they need is absolutely vital, now and in the days ahead.”
The bill was passed out of committee, by a vote of 8-0.