When Ohio’s mental health professionals act unethically


Melissa Martin, Ph.D.



Mental health professionals are licensed and governed by state boards. Laws and Rules are listed in the Ohio Revised Code and/or Administrative Code. Consumers of mental health services need to know their rights and provider’s responsibilities in common ethical dilemmas.

Psychiatrists

When a person with personal knowledge believes an American Psychiatric Association member may have violated ethical principles, he/she may file a complaint with the District Branch to which the member belongs. The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association recognizes that psychiatrists are responsible for providing competent and ethical care for their patients. Location: 3510 Snouffer Road, Suite 101, Columbus, Ohio 43235. www.ohiopsychiatry.org.

As medical physicians, psychiatrists are licensed and governed by the State of Ohio Medical Board. The Board investigates the following: improper prescribing, dispensing or administering of drugs; minimal standards of care; fraud; misrepresentation or deception; lewd and immoral conduct; unlicensed practice; criminal convictions; impairment of ability of practice; continuing education violations; and miscellaneous violations. Location: 30 East Broad Street, 3rd Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. www.med.ohio.gov.

Psychologists

According to an American Psychological Association 1999 report, the most common ethical complaints filed within the category of ethical violation includes: sexual misconduct with adult clients; insurance fee problems, child custody evaluation, professional misconduct, sexual misconduct with minors, nonsexual dual relationships, practicing outside of competency, inappropriate follow up and/or termination.

Ohio Board of Psychology. Ohio Revised Code. Chapter 4732: Psychologist, 4732.16 Investigations. (A) The state board of psychology shall investigate alleged violations of this chapter or the rules adopted under it. Each investigation shall be assigned by the executive director or designated investigator to one of the members of the board who shall serve as the supervising member of the investigation. The Biennial Enforcement Report July 1, 2014—June 30, 2016 lists psychologists and actions of board. The Ohio Board of Psychology complaint filing process is online. Location of board: Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 S. High Street, Suite 1830, Columbus, OH 43215-6108. www.psychology.ohio.gov.

Mental Health Therapists, Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists

The above mental health professionals are licensed and governed by the Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board. 4757.11 Establishing code of ethical practice. The counselor, social worker, and marriage and family therapist board shall establish a code of ethical practice for persons licensed under this chapter as licensed professional clinical counselors or licensed professional counselors. The board shall establish a code of ethical practice for persons licensed under this chapter as independent social workers or social workers, persons registered under this chapter as social work assistants, and persons licensed as independent marriage and family therapists or marriage and family therapists. Disciplinary actions taken against licensees can be found on the website. Location of board: 77 South High Street, 24thFloor, Room 2468Columbus, Ohio 43215-6171. www.cswmft.ohio.gov.

Chemical Dependency Counselors

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board governs and ensures that chemical dependency counselors are complying with and abiding by ethical practices. Ethics complaints are reviewed and processed by the Board’s Ethics Committee. Location of board: Ohio Vern Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, 16th Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215. www.ocdp.ohio.gov.

School Psychologists

The school psychologist license issued by the Ohio Board of Psychology authorizes independent practice of school psychology outside of schools and other settings where the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) license is the required credential.

Ohio Revised Code. www.codes.ohio.gov/oac/4732-9-02. Location of board: Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 S. High Street, Suite 1830, Columbus, OH 43215-6108. www.psychology.ohio.gov.

School Counselors

Ohio school counselors are licensed by the Department of Education. School counseling is a pupil services personnel credential. It authorizes service with students in grades K through 12. Location: 25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215-4183. www.education.ohio.gov.

For more information, contact your provider’s Ohio board or review website.

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Melissa Martin, Ph.D.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, self-syndicated columnist, educator and therapist. She resides in Scioto County, Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, self-syndicated columnist, educator and therapist. She resides in Scioto County, Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.