Public Policy

Take Action to Ban Conversion Therapy in Wisconsin

Documents to use in drafting a letter to the JCRAR in support of Clearinghouse Rule 19-166 to ban conversion therapy in Wisconsin

A coalition of organizations and individuals is working to support the effort to ban the practice of conversion therapy statewide by the administrative agency that licenses and regulates all therapists, professional counselors, and licensed clinical social workers.

To take action, send a letter to the individual members of the legislative Joint Committee on Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) in support of Clearinghouse Rules 19-166, as soon as you can prior to the committee’s meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020 (by EOD Wednesday, June 24, 2020).


The joint board has promulgated a new set of professional standards modifying several aspects of these professions’ ethical rules, including establishing the practice of conversion therapy as an unethical practice.

The effect of such a rule change is to ban the practice statewide by licensed practitioners in these three professions. While not quite as a broad in effect in as a state statute, the rule change will have very significant impact and it will authorize the licensing boards to take disciplinary action against licensed practitioners in these professions who engage in the practice.

The JCRAR has scheduled a meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020 to vote on the proposed rule changes, and the 10 individual legislators who sit on the committee need to hear statewide community support for the joint board’s proposed changes.


1. Send (email) letters to the 10 individual members of the JCRAR today or tomorrow (by EOD Wednesday, June 24, 2020).

Tools can be found above to support letter-writing, including:

A. Letter templates – 3 sample/example letters are attached for your modification/use.

B. Contact information for the 10 JCRAR members.

C. Memo about other states’ use either of administrative rulemaking and/or executive action to ban conversion therapy.

2. Share this request for support with others in your networks, including organization and community leaders, as well as individuals or parents or family members of LGBTQ+ individuals who are willing and able to share personal stories about their experiences with conversion therapy.

3. Encourage constituents of key committee members to contact their representatives, specifically State Rep. Adam Neylon, Rep. Joan Ballweg, and Rep. Romaine Quinn.

Thank you for you time and your efforts to help prohibit this practice throughout the state.

About the MHA Office of Public Policy

On a local and state-wide level, MHA provides leadership on mental health advocacy and keeps MHA's members informed about important public policy issues in Milwaukee, Madison and Washington, D.C.

MHA staff serve on several mental health committees including the Wisconsin Council on Mental Health, Wisconsin United for Mental Health and the Milwaukee County Mental Health Task Force. MHA is also a member of the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations and elevates mental health policy concerns in a cross-systems context through these organizations.

MHA also utilizes its prevention/early intervention activities as a springboard to impact mental health policy. The Prevention/Early Intervention Initiative's goal is to intervene earlier with persons at risk of mental illness who are experiencing early signs and symptoms of mental illness.

MHA Position Statements    |    Know Your Rights

The Wisconsin Council on Mental Health (WCMH)

The Wisconsin Council on Mental Health (WCMH) is legislatively mandated under section15.197(1), Wisconsin Statutes, as the mental health planning Council for the State. It was created to advise the Governor, the Legislature and the Department of Health Services on the allocation of Mental Health Block Grant funds. The Council has 20 to 25 members appointed by the Governor, meeting bi-monthly. At least 50 percent of the members are consumers, family members and/or advocates. Other members represent state agencies, mental health providers, and other organizations or groups. The WCMH evaluates and reviews the mental health system's progress towards achieving improved client outcomes and the adequacy of mental health services in the State.

You can find out more information on this process as it unfolds by checking out information from meetings at the WCMH website.


Mary Neubauer, Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator, 414-336-7965 or