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Judge Backs Augusta State University's Right to Enforce Counselor Prep Standards
In mid-August, U.S. District Court Judge J. Randall Hall refused to grant an injunction that would block Augusta State University from expelling Jennifer Keeton, a counselor education student who refused to follow the faculty imposed remediation program to address the manner in which she intended to counsel GLBTQ clients. The ruling follows close on the heels of a July decision in which a judge found Eastern Michigan University did not discriminate when expelling a student who refused to counsel an assigned practicum client on the basis that he was a homosexual.
In rejecting the injunction, Judge Hall's ruling stated the faculty plan was designed to teach the student how to counsel all demographics of clients. He commented: "Despite any suggestion to the contrary, this is not a case about pitting Christianity against homosexuality. This case is only about the constitutionality of the actions taken by the Defendants regarding the Plaintiff within the context of the Plaintiff's Counselor Education master's degree program at Augusta State University (ASU), and no more."
The ACA Code of Ethics was identified in both rulings as the standard established by the profession for the ethical conduct of professional counselors and used by counselor education programs in teaching ethical practices. In each case, the students were represented by the Alliance for Defense Fund (ADF). It is not yet known whether these decisions will be appealed. Watch ACAeNews for updates and the November issue of Counseling Today for an in-depth article on this topic.
BP Commits $52 million To Behavioral Health Needs of Gulf Coast Region
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that BP will commit $52 million to help address the behavioral health needs of Gulf Coast residents and workers affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April. Citing mental health concerns related to an uncertain economic future and possible long-term health effects caused by the spill, HHS said the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will direct $10 million of the BP monies to support programs involving substance abuse and dependence, psychiatric disorders, suicidal tendencies, and family breakdown, including divorce and abuse.
ACA Alert: Making Certain Your State Gets Share of Federal Ed Job Aid
In order to obtain funds from the Education Jobs Fund, signed into law on August 10, each state must complete a simple application. ACA encourages counselors to contact their governor's office to request that they apply for their states' fair share of the education jobs aid and as soon as possible. Such action will save positions for school counselors and other personnel that may be scheduled for cutback or elimination. State applications are due September 9.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) estimates that the aid could save up to 160,000 education personnel across the country. ED expects to award funds within 2 weeks of receiving an approvable application. Districts are encouraged to spend these funds in the 2010-11 school year, but have until September 30, 2012, to obligate funds.
Funds can be used for:
For more details from ED, visit:
For more information, Contact: Dominic W. Holt, ACA Legislative Representative. 703-823-9800 x242 or 800-347-6647 x242. Email: email@example.com
Relevant Research: Increased Depression in College Students
Research findings presented this month at the American Psychological Association annual meeting and reported on Web MD point to rising rates of depression among college students. The specific research compared students seeking counseling at a private university and found those diagnosed with moderate to severe depression increased to 41%, from 34% between 1997 and 2009. Further, greater numbers of students seeking counseling were found to be using medications to treat depression, anxiety, and other concerns.
Employment Opportunities for Counselors
ACA is pleased to provide another employment opportunity in conjunction with our partners at Comprehensive Health Services (CHS). ACA has regular interaction with CHS, and they fill a vital role in the counseling world, dealing extensively with the men and women in military service and their families. Currently CHS is looking for Behavioral Specialists for positions in Afghanistan. For position details and application information, visit the following link:
Call for Future ACA Committee Members
President-Elect Don W. Locke is seeking nominations for ACA committee appointments. For each committee, he will be appointing professional members who will serve a 3-year term and a student representative for a 1-year term. Positions on the following committees will be available beginning July 1, 2011: Awards, Branch Development, Bylaws and Policies, Ethics, Graduate Student, Human Rights, International, Interprofessional, Professional Standards, Public Awareness and Support, Public Policy and Legislation, Publications, and Research and Knowledge.
ACA members may nominate themselves or be nominated by other ACA members. Information will be on the ACA website beginning on September 1. Nominations are due December 1, 2010, and must be sent to ACA headquarters, c/o Holly Clubb, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. For more information about the nominations process, call Holly Clubb at 1-800-347-6647, ext. 212 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incarcerated Americans Likely to Experience Severe Mental Illness
Americans with severe mental illnesses are three times more likely to be behind bars than in a psychiatric hospital, according to "More Mentally Ill Persons Are in Jails and Prisons than Hospitals," a recent report by the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) and the National Sheriff's Association (NSA). The report states that 16% of all inmates have a severe mental illness. Using state statistics from 2004-2005 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the TAC/NSA report also found a very strong correlation between the states that have more mentally ill persons in prisons and those states that are spending less on mental health services.
NIMH Seeks Outreach Partnership Proposals by October 5
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is seeking proposals for NIMH Outreach Partners this year from the following states and jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Additional states are scheduled for inclusion in this program in future years and funding cycles.
The NIMH Outreach Partnership Program enlists organizations to facilitate and increase the use of science-based information on mental disorders in their respective states. Nonprofit organizations that conduct outreach focused on mental health are invited to submit proposals. Organizations with experience in child and adolescent mental health and/or mental health disparities are encouraged to apply. Additional information and timelines for submitting questions can be found at the NIMH website identified below. Proposals are due October 5.
On the Lighter Side: Annual Beloit Mindset List Reminds Us of Change
When they were born, Ross Perot was a candidate for President and the U.S. was finding that the USSR might not have been as threatening to our security as we had suspected. Today, they take technological innovations in stride and wonder why computers, telephones, and related tools won't work any faster. Who are they?
The class of 2014 and their perceptions of the world in which they live are the subject of the annual Beloit Mindset List. Generated by staffers at the Wisconsin college since 1998, the Mindset List attempts to identify the "cultural touchstones" of freshmen students entering college each fall. The annual list has become a popular and anxiously awaited document.
ACA Responds: Online CE Credits in Counseling Supervision Now Available
In response to member requests for continuing education in the area of supervision, ACA has posted seven offerings from Clinical Supervision in the Helping Professions by Gerald Corey, Robert Haynes, Patrice Moulton and Michelle Muratori in the ACA Online Learning section of www.counseling.org. Members can study the seven chapters, take the accompanying examinations, and earn one CE credit hour per chapter. Earned credits may be applied to certification and credential maintenance.
Fast Fact: Education Trends Reflect Growth and Challenges for Racial and Ethnic Groups
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new report, "The Status and Trends of Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups," which examines educational progress and unmet challenges in the U.S. by race and ethnicity. Using 29 indicators, the report shows that over time, the numbers of each race/ethnicity who have completed high school and continued their education in college have increased. Despite their gains, however, the rate of progress has varied and significant gaps remain.
Reliable Resource: Educator Health Focus of School Employee Wellness Guide
Back to school means a return to concerns about educator wellness and ways to improve employee health, improve workforce productivity, and reduce the cost of employee absenteeism and health care. A new online resource, "School Employee Wellness: A Guide for Protecting the Assets of Our Nation's Schools" is now available from the Directors of Health Promotion and Education. This comprehensive guide provides information, tools, and resources for employee wellness programs. The full guide is downloadable following registration.
Calendar: AACE, Louisiana, ACC, ACCA, and Nebraska Conferences Approaching
Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education
Louisiana Counseling Association
Association for Creativity in Counseling
Nebraska Counseling Association
American College Counseling Association
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 email@example.com. 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 website 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.
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