S.C.R. NO.














requesting the department of commerce and consumer affairs to convene a task force to provide recommendations for granting prescriptive authority to qualified psychologists in the counties of kauai, maui, and hawaii.



WHEREAS, there is a significant shortage of prescribing mental health care providers available to serve the needs of the State's residents in rural or medically underserved communities, especially in Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai counties; and


WHEREAS, the lack of access to appropriate mental health treatment has serious and irrevocable consequences; and


WHEREAS, according to the Department of Health, of the ten-leading injury-related causes of death, death by suicide is the number one cause among Hawaii residents; and


WHEREAS, studies have shown that people who attempt or commit suicide often received inadequate or no mental health treatment due to a shortage of community mental health providers; and


WHEREAS, while causes for suicide are complex, the most commonly reported contributing factors are mental health conditions that, when identified and treated, respond favorably to therapy and psychotropic medication; and


WHEREAS, clinical psychologists are licensed health professionals with an average of seven years of post-baccalaureate study and three thousand hours of post-graduate supervised practice in diagnosis and treatment of mental illness; and


WHEREAS, the American Psychological Association has developed a model curriculum for a Master's Degree in psychopharmacology for the education and training of prescribing psychologists, however, the existing scope of clinical psychologists' practice in Hawaii does not include prescribing medications; and


WHEREAS, Hawaii has previously authorized prescription privileges for a number of other health care professionals, and federal facilities have long allowed licensed clinical psychologists with specialized education and training to prescribe psychotropic medications in certain circumstances; and


WHEREAS, authorizing qualified clinical psychologists with appropriate advanced training to prescribe from a limited formulary of psychotropic medication will benefit Hawaii residents, especially those who live in rural or medically underserved communities; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is requested to convene a task force to provide recommendations for granting prescriptive authority to qualified psychologist applicants in the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force, with the assistance of the Board of Psychology, is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force be dissolved on June 30, 2022; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and Executive Officer of the Board of Psychology.









Report Title:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Task Force; Prescriptive Authority; Clinical Psychologists