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On Thursday, May 8th, the House of Representatives Mental Health Caucus is sponsoring a Congressional Briefing to focus on the value of school-based mental health programs as key components of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reauthorization package. The briefing, held in conjunction with the third annual National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, will feature presentations by individuals who run effective school-based mental health programs in close collaboration with the community mental health system. Lawmakers will also hear from a youth on how these programs produce positive outcomes for children and adolescents with mental health treatment needs. ACA is a co-sponsor of this year's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.
Counselors are asked to contact their U.S. Senators and Representative and their staff to urge them to attend this very important breakfast briefing on children's mental health. Calls, emails and contacts with congressional offices can help ensure a strong turnout for the briefing. All House and Senate offices can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or 202-225-3121. To find the names of your members of Congress, or to generate an e-mail to your lawmakers on this issue, go to: http://capwiz.com/counseling/home.
Asian Pacific Heritage Month is celebrated each May to commemorate the contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to U.S. history and culture.
Overview of the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander citizens: http://www.asian-nation.org/14-statistics.shtml
A new report from the National Center for Educational Statistics finds contemporary parents setting high educational attainment goals for their children. According to the report, about 9 in 10 students (91%) in grades 6 through 12 have parents who expect them to continue their education beyond high school. Of those, 65% were hoping their sons and daughters would earn a bachelor's degree while 21% expected some lesser form of post-secondary education achievement.
Earlier this year, a "Sound Off" poll in ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice and Community Agency Counselors asked members to voice their opinion on consolidating licensure titles into one standard occupational title that would promote portability and reduce public confusion. The poll drew 678 responses, broken down as follows:
Watch for other opportunities to "sound off" on matters of professional debate.
Contrary to popular belief, recent research and a new report from Child Trends contradicts the notion that most or even many youth are over-scheduled and are suffering as a result. The new findings show less than 1 in 10 youths can be described as over-scheduled. Moreover, only 6 in 10 children and youth participate in organized out-of-school activities at any given time, even though involvement in extracurricular activities is linked to positive social, behavioral and psychological outcomes.
Girls' and Women's Wellness: Contemporary Counseling Issues and Interventions
In this new book, mental health counselors, counselor educators, and school counselors will find an abundance of practical strategies that can be used immediately in their daily practice. Each chapter includes assessment and intervention strategies, client handouts, workshop outlines, self-exploration activities, case studies with discussion questions, and recommended resources. Topics addressed include women's development and mental health, self-esteem, body image, relational aggression in girls, sexual assault and intimate partner violence, college women's experiences, life-work balance, spirituality, and the concerns of mid-life and older women. 2008. 300 pages.
Can service-learning become an effective magnet for making education more relevant for prospective dropouts and keeping them engaged through diploma acquisition? That is the focus of a special report, Engaged for Success: Service-Learning as a Tool for High School Dropout Prevention, just released by Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the National Conference on Citizenship. In keeping with the idea that different strategies must be employed to respond the needs of myriad students, the report offers a different lens through which to examine "at risk" students.
Yahoo HotJobs recently surveyed employed professionals who use a wireless device and found 37 percent feel more relaxed than stressed when they are connected to their work and workplace. Another 42 percent expressed indifference to their wireless connector, feeling neither relaxed nor stressed by it. The HotJobs annual virtual workplace survey includes suggestions for wireless device etiquette and ways of keeping the use of instruments in check.
A lack of time and available money late last year prevented Congress from passing any substantial reforms to many of Medicare's antiquated policies, including the identification of licensed professional counselors as service providers. ACA and AMHCA have been pushing hard this year to make sure that Medicare's mental health benefit includes coverage of licensed professional counselors. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly likely that Congress will only be able to agree on a minimum reform package, leaving many important reforms left undone.
Congress will not pass Medicare coverage of counselors without your urging. Counselors are encouraged to contact their Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 921, the Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act. All Senate office can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and asking for the Senator's office. To identify your Senators, visit http://capwiz.com/counseling/home/.
Member presentations are the "heart" of any ACA Conference & Exposition and Charlotte, 2009 (March 19-23) will be no exception. Learning Institutes and Education Session proposals can be submitted online any time through June 2, 2008.
David Kaplan, Chief Professional Officer, represented ACA members and the counseling profession at the annual meeting for the National Institute of Mental Health Coalition for Research Progress on April 18th in Washington DC. The major goal of the meeting was to update the coalition on the new NIMH strategic plan. A major focus for NIMH in the coming years will be the use of genetic mapping in predicting mental illness. Coalition members also received valuable updates on current research in PTSD/traumatic stress, autism, and schizophrenia.
New research from the Conference Board finds that one in three adults in the U. S. today — and at least 15 percent of the population of each state — is obese. This obesity costs the country an estimated $100 billion a year, with private employers shouldering as much as 45 percent of that burden. As a health issue, obesity has risen to a place on the "worry meter" of business officials that equals smoking and surpasses drug and alcohol abuse.
CVS Pharmacy Community Grants are currently accepting proposals for programs targeting children under age 18 with disabilities that address: health and rehabilitation services; a greater level of inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs; opportunities or facilities that give greater access to physical movement; and play. Maximum Award: Varies. Eligible applicants: Public schools with programs for children under age 18 with disabilities and non-profit organizations. Applications will be accepted through October 2008.
ACA now has a 3-month installment plan in place to assist you with renewing your ACA membership without paying the full renewal amount all at once. Here's how it works…your ACA membership dues and division dues, if applicable, are divided into 3 monthly payments. A $2.00 bank fee will be added ($1.00 each on the 2nd and 3rd payments). You must pay with your credit card to take advantage of the 3-month installment plan.
Interested? Contact Member Services at 800.347.6647, x 222 or 703-823-9800, x222 (M-F, 8 am – 7 pm, ET) and have your credit card handy.
If you are interested in paying the full renewal amount, GO GREEN! Log on to the members-only section of the ACA website at www.counseling.org. Enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password, contact Member Services at 800-347-6647, x222, 703-823-9800, x222 (M-F, 8 am – 7 pm, ET), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 31-June 1, 2008
June 15-17, 2008
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