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Celebrate: April is Counseling Awareness Month
As one of more than 42,000 members of the American Counseling Association (ACA), we know that you take considerable pride in your work and support our efforts to make the importance of counseling and the role of counselors better known throughout the nation and the world. To this end, ACA designates April of each year as Counseling Awareness Month, a time of advocacy for the profession and celebration of the outstanding efforts of counselors in myriad settings. Check out the Counseling Awareness Celebration Guide for dozens of ideas you can use to raise awareness of the profession.
It's our month —celebrate your professional identity!
Historic Health Reform Completes Long Journey into Law
On Tuesday, March 23 President Obama signed into law the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," Public Law 111-148, making historic changes to the U.S. health care system. The signing ceremony followed passage of the legislation in the House by a 219-212 vote on Sunday, March 21. A package of amendments was approved by the Senate on Thursday, and then by the House later the same day. The package of modifications was signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday, March 30th.
The law will dramatically expand access to health insurance coverage for an estimated 30 million Americans, helping individuals and small businesses who cannot afford insurance to pool together to buy coverage, and extending Medicaid coverage to individuals slightly above the poverty level. Although the law's changes will be phased in, several provisions take effect later this year, including:
Importantly, the law establishes that essential benefits packages to be provided within health insurance exchanges include coverage of mental health and substance abuse disorder services. The law includes provisions aimed at strengthening the health care workforce, including by increasing support for health professional scholarships and loan repayments. The health workforce provisions in the law define the terms "mental health service professional" and "child and adolescent mental and behavioral health professional" to include both professional counselors and school counselors. ACA is working to clarify the extent to which counselors will be eligible for assistance and support under the workforce provisions. We are also working to solidify support in Congress for enacting Medicare reimbursement for counselors later this year. Medicare counselor coverage language and other provider-specific issues were kept out of the new health law, due to larger budgeting concerns.
The new law includes the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which invests $36 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,975 by 2017. Starting in 2013, the scholarship will be linked to the annual Consumer Price Index. The law also invests $13.5 billion into the Pell Grant program to overcome a shortfall due to increased demand. For more information on the SAFRA-related provisions of the new law, contact Dominic Holt with ACA at 800-347-6647 x242, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the health-related provisions of the new law, contact Scott Barstow with the ACA at 800-347-6647 x234, email: email@example.com.
Youth Confident and Motivated Regarding Career Futures, Display Different Perspectives
A recent Junior Achievement survey, "Kids and Careers," found striking differences in the opinions of adolescent boys and girls in what motivates them to excel on the job and what tools they consider important in determining career success. The study found that fewer girls than boys said they needed perks such as a promotion and raise (girls 38%, boys 56%), to excel on the job.
When asked if they needed additional motivation to succeed, 40% of girls responded that they did not, while only 22% of boys said they needed no extra motivation. Also, when asked what would motivate them to take a less than ideal job, the poll found that fewer girls (67%) say they are motivated by a higher salary than did boys (74%).
Boys and girls also had differing opinions on how to prepare for career success.
Regarding their career futures, the survey indicated that almost 90% of U.S. boys and girls ages 12-17 have confidence they will have their ideal job one day; 65% of respondents were very confident they would have their ideal job, and 25% were extremely confident. Only 9% were not very confident and none expressed zero confidence in their likelihood of finding their ideal job.
Fast Fact: Study Suggests Increase in Drunk Driving Among Young Women
The rate of alcohol-related fatal car crashes has risen among some populations of female drivers, a trend that runs counter to the decline in such crashes among young men. The Injury Prevention Journal reported in February that an analysis of U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data found that the rate of fatal car crashes where drivers had alcohol in their system fell among all age groups of men studied up to age 20 (16 to 20) and remained the same among 21- to 24-year-olds.
However, while the rate fell among 16-year-old girls and remained the same among 17- and 18-year-old females, it rose among 19-year-olds and 21- to 24-year-olds. Researchers also found that the proportion of female drivers involved in fatal alcohol-involved crashes was higher than that of males.
Kids and Concussions: Sounding the Alarm
To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has developed the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The Heads Up initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion.
As many as 1.4 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury in the U.S. each year. The CDC wants to prevent and improve the management of concussions among children ages 5-18 in school settings. A centerpiece of this effort will be a new set of materials, Heads Up to Schools: Know your Concussion ABCs, specifically designed for school counselors, school nurses, teachers, principals and other school professionals.
Tell Counseling Today How You Build Referral Networks
Counseling Today is researching how counselors build referral networks in their communities. For private practice or agency work, how are you getting your name out there and finding your own list of "trusted referrals"? CT writers and editors are looking for "war stories," advice, tips, and trends on how to create a referral network. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some ideas and might like to be a part of a future CT article.
850 Mile Walk to Call Attention to Depression
Saturday, August 14, 2010. That's the day a group of volunteers will depart St. Louis for an 850-mile, 50-day walk to Washington, D.C. The goal of the Walk to Washington is to gather one million signatures on a petition for greater access, research, and treatment for dealing with depression. Along the way, the walkers will host rallies and educate people to raise depression awareness. Learn more about the event and determine ways in which you can contribute by visiting
The ACA Membership Certificate: 50% Off Now Thru April 30
Show your commitment to your profession and its ethical standards and practices by displaying an ACA Membership certificate in your office. To help you celebrate Counseling Awareness Month in April, ACA is offering the ready-to-frame ACA membership certificate with a gold border for only $8.50, 50% off the regular price of $17. To take advantage of this special offer, please call 800-347-6647 x222 (M-F, 8 am–7pm). Credit card sales only. Offer not available online. To view wood or metal-framed certificate options, log on to the ACA website using your username and password, click on Counselors, then on Framed Certificate Order Form. (These versions are not on sale.)
Reliable Resource: Child and Youth Well-Being Measures
Child Trend is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development. The center hopes to improve developmental outcomes for children and youth by providing research, data, and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect these groups.
One of Child Trend's initiatives, the Child Trends Databank, provides information on more than 100 indicators of child and youth well-being via a "new look" and expanded resource site.
Army OneSource Offers Online Courses in Working with Military, Families
Over 1.6 million men and women have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom to date. Almost half of those service members are married, and almost half have dependent children--the majority 5 years old and younger. In response to the unique need and demand for behavioral health services, Army OneSource has announced a community outreach program, supported by the U.S. Army, to raise awareness of the unique challenges of military life on these men and women and their families.
One aspect of the campaign is to encourage civilian health and behavioral health providers to complete an online course in the series titled, "Treating the Invisible Wounds of War." This series of courses was designed to help mental health counselors, primary care physicians, case workers, and other mental health professionals—who may see a veteran or family member on an unrelated issue—develop a better understanding of the culture in which service members and veterans, as well as their families, live and work. To register for one or more of the online courses, follow these steps:
From your browser, go to
NOTE: Be sure to enter your Army OneSource referral code: AOSil555 in the space provided. If you don't have a referral code, contact your local Army OneSource Community Support Coordinator.
Relevant Research: Falling Short of Educational Ambitions Not End of the World
Not succeeding in achieving one's educational goals may not be as devastating as we have been led to believe say researchers who have just completed a study to determine whether unrealized educational expectations are associated with depression among adults. John R. Reynolds and Chardie L. Bard found no long-term emotional costs of aiming high and falling short when it comes to educational aspirations, despite several social psychological theories that would seem to suggest otherwise. Their conclusion: Society should not discourage unpromising students who have dreams of earning a college degree.
"Is There a Downside to Shooting for the Stars? Unrealized Educational Expectations and Symptoms of Depression," which was published in the American Sociological Review, is the first large, national study to look at the mental health consequences of failing to meet educational expectations. The researchers theorize that many young adults who did not reach their educational goals develop a sort of "adaptive resilience" that buffers them from the kind of depression that could result from feelings of failure.
Attention Authors: Announce Your New Book in Counseling Today
If you are an ACA member who has had a book published in the last 6 months, send an announcement for inclusion in Counseling Today. Simply send your ACA membership number, the title of the book, the publisher, approximate date of publication and a one- to two-sentence description of the book to email@example.com. Book announcements will appear in the "Resource Reviews" section of CT later this year.
ACA Conference in Pittsburgh: 3,600+ Attend, Early Reg High for New Orleans
More than 3,600 counseling professionals and students attended the ACA Annual Conference & Exposition in Pittsburgh last week. Twenty countries and multiple continents were represented—among them: Portugal, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Bahamas, and Japan. Watch for further Conference news in the May issue of Counseling Today. View photos and news coverage here. Early registration for the ACA 2011 Conference in New Orleans was very strong, with 533 already signed up. See links below for more information on the New Orleans Conference.
Calendar: State Conferences in NJ, ME, MO, CO, SD, and MD
April 9-11, 2010
April 12-13, 2010
April 15-17, 2010
April 16-17, 2010
April 22-24, 2010
April 30 – May 1, 2010
ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately 8-10 weeks prior. This information is made available to ACAeNews via the ACA master calendar and the various organization web sites. Send calendar items to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the sponsor, dates, site and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.
ACAeNews is published 24 times annually by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members across the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity or listing of a web site in ACAeNews does not imply endorsement by ACA. Any views and opinions are those of the sponsoring organization and may or may not be shared by ACA.
Direct comments, questions, and submissions to email@example.com. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance to the readership and may be edited.
Lynn E. Linde, President
Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director
Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications
Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor
Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production
ACA Website: www.counseling.org
Copyright 2010, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703-823-9800. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce anything contained in this newsletter as long as the American Counseling Association is identified as the original source of the information.
Copyright 2010, American Counseling Association, All Rights Reserved.