Updated: May 24
On Friday, May 12, 2023, Florida state legislators passed Senate Bill 1580. This bill allows payors and providers to discriminate and deny coverage or care on the basis of any moral, religious, or philosophical differences. “Payors and providers” include doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, mental health providers, medical transport services, clinical lab personnel, nursing homes, and other licensed health care professionals and providers.
As mental health professionals at Cypress Wellness Center, we have always been committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical practice. However, this newly enacted law directly conflicts with the principles outlined in the ACA Code of Ethics, which we wholeheartedly abide by. In particular, ethical code C.5. emphasizes that counselors must not engage in any form of discrimination against prospective or current clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants based on various protected characteristics.
At Cypress Wellness Center, we firmly believe in providing equal and unbiased health and wellness care to all individuals. We consider discrimination based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status, language preference, socioeconomic status, immigration status, or any other protected basis to be completely unacceptable. Our commitment to these values remains unwavering, and we will continue to uphold our counseling code of ethics.
Given these circumstances, we feel compelled to express our strong opposition to Senate Bill 1580. We firmly believe that it not only goes against the principles of fairness, equality, and compassion that should underpin our healthcare system but also contradicts the moral and ethical obligations we hold as mental health professionals. We believe it is of utmost importance to protect the rights and well-being of all individuals seeking health and wellness services in our state.
Dr. Katie Schubert has a doctorate degree in Sociology and Gender studies from the University of Florida and a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University in Colorado. She completed her postgraduate studies at Florida Postgraduate Sex Therapy Training Institute and is a Certified Sex Therapist, providing therapy to individuals, couples and families on issues related to sexuality, sex and gender in St. Petersburg. She's also is a professor of sociology at the University of Tampa. She's the practice owner and clinical supervisor at Cypress Wellness Center. Contact her at Katie@Cypresswellnesscenter.com Jacob Lundy is a Mental Health Student Intern at Cypress Wellness Center. He began pursuing a Bachelor's in Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and deeply fell in love with therapy when he finally went to therapy himself in his senior year. He has ten years of teaching experience including music, special education, and ESL. He also has three years of experience working as a personal service worker, showing comfort to autistic individuals. He's now pursuing a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adams State University. To request an appointment, click here to request an appointment.