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Senate and House Bills Differ on Medicare Coverage by Licensed Professional Counselors
The Senate's health care reform bill, unveiled November 18 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fails to establish Medicare coverage of licensed professional counselors, despite the fact that the Senate has twice approved Medicare coverage of counselors, and that Medicare beneficiaries need better access to outpatient mental health service providers. Senate consideration of the legislation, including votes on amendments and continued behind-the-scenes negotiations, will consume the next few weeks, and may require rare weekend sessions. H.R. 3962, the health care legislation passed by the House of Representatives on November 7th, includes Medicare coverage of state-licensed professional counselors and state-licensed marriage and family therapists.
ACA is asking Senators to cosponsor S. 671, a separate, stand-alone bill, in order to show their support for establishing Medicare coverage of counselors. There are more than 110,000 licensed professional counselors across the country meeting education and training standards that are on par with the standards of currently covered providers. Covering both counselors and marriage and family therapists under Medicare is estimated to cost only $100 million over 5 years, a drop in the bucket in the context of other Medicare improvements costing tens of billions of dollars.
ACA encourages counselors to contact their Senators to ask them why Medicare coverage of counselors was not included in the health care bill, and to ask them to cosponsor S. 671--the "Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act". ACA also encourages counselors to contact their Representative to ask that they co-sign the letter being organized by Rep. Bart Gordon, expressing support for maintaining the House-passed counselor Medicare coverage provisions.
New Interest Network on Animal Assisted Therapy Approved
The ACA Governing Council recently approved the creation of the Animal Assisted Therapy in Mental Health Interest Network. The purpose of the new Network is to promote the knowledge, research, and practice of animal assisted therapy in the field of mental health. The facilitators of the new Network are Cynthia Chandler (Cynthia.firstname.lastname@example.org) and Amy Johnson (email@example.com).
ACA members interested in joining this Network or any of the 12 ones (see list below) should contact Holly Clubb at hclubb@counseling. Please include your name, email, the Network(s) you wish to join, and your ACA Membership status.
ACA Interest Network for Professional Counselors in Schools
Reliable Resource: American Red Cross Offers Tips on the Emotional Aspects of H1N1
The American Red Cross has created a resource tool that addresses the emotional issues associated with the H1N1 pandemic. Preparing for a Swine Flu (H1N1) Pandemic - Coping and Emotional Well-Being provides consumer information and tips for coping with the stress and anxiety associated with the flu, including a series of psychological resilience strategies for "bouncing back" from difficult experiences. ACA is a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Partner.
Relevant Research: Coeducational Habitants More Likely to Engage in Binge Drinking
A new study suggests that students in coeducational housing are much more likely to engage in binge drinking than are students who live in all-male or all-female housing. The study, appearing in Journal of American College Health and a number of national media outlets, is based on data on more than 500 students at five colleges around the U.S. The research found that 42% of students in coed housing reported binge drinking on a weekly basis, and only 18% of those in single-sex housing did so.
The researchers discounted the idea that student self-selection may result in those likely to engage in binge drinking opting to live in mixed-sex housing. Their rationale is that most students living in single-sex housing didn't request to do so, but were placed there by campus officials when coed slots were filled. Two educators associated with Brigham Young University conducted the study, but the university, which has a no-drinking policy, was not one of the colleges studied.
New ACA Podcast: Corey on Existential Therapy
Best selling author and popular presenter Gerald Corey, EdD, has added his perspectives on existential therapy to the growing menu of topics in the ACA Podcast Series. Corey will be a featured keynote speaker at the ACA Conference & Exposition, March 18-22, in Pittsburgh.
In Podcast HT014 - Existential Therapy, Corey defines existential therapy and discusses how the themes of freedom, responsibility, and anxiety can be addressed in counseling. He also examines the multicultural aspects of the theory and how counselors can use the existential approach as a foundation and integrate it with other approaches such as cognitive behavior therapy and brief therapy. Running time: 55:20.
ACA Branch Awards Call for Entries: Submit by January 16
The ACA Branch Awards competition recognizes those ACA branches that significantly advance and enhance the counseling profession through excellent programs, increased membership, quality communications, and community involvement.
For 2010, there are two categories of awards: Best Innovative Practice and Best Leadership Development. Winners will receive $250, plus one conference registration to the 2011 ACA Annual Conference & Exposition in New Orleans. Housing and transportation are not included. The winners will be recognized at the ACA National Awards Ceremony during the 2010 ACA Annual Conference & Exposition in Pittsburgh, March 18-22. The ceremony will be held on March 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm. A respresentative from the Branch is expected to attend.
All Award entries must be submitted electronically -- no exceptions -- no later than 5:00 pm ET, Friday, January 16, 2010. Questions, comments or concerns? Contact Bob Schmidt, ACA Branch Awards Project Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Denise Brown, Director of Member Programs/Branch Development, at email@example.com.
Don't delay, the deadline is approaching fast!
We look forward to receiving your entries and seeing you at the Awards Ceremony in Pittsburgh!
Season of Giving: Include ACA Foundation, Get a Tax Deduction
The ACA Foundation has worked over the past year to increase and improve its programs serving the counseling profession. The "Counselors Care Fund" now has an expanded focus allowing it to provide assistance to counselors throughout the country affected by disaster or tragedy. The "Growing Happy and Confident Kids" program is working to meet an overwhelming number of participation requests, and the ACAF's support for graduate students is at a new high this year with revised scholarship competitions and increased support for ACA Annual Conference attendance grants. Find out more about ACAF activities, and make your tax-deductible donation to support Foundation activities in the coming year, at
Holiday Offering: Gladding's Becoming a Counselor
Speaking of the ACA Foundation, another way you can offer support is by purchasing books published by ACAF. And, ACAF is willing to give back to its supporters during December with a very special price of $9.95 for the fascinating, insight-filled autobiographical story of one of counseling's most beloved and respected leaders, Samuel T. Gladding, The regular member price of $19.95, will be reduced to $9.95 (members and nonmembers) during December only.
Other ACAF titles include:
Worth Reading: Indicators Point to Dismal Job Market for June College Grads
Recent data from the Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute indicates that positions for 2010 college graduates once again will be down, continuing the negative impact of the recession and economic downturn. The MSU study uses information collected from 2,500 companies and other hiring entities. Institute researchers point to a "bottoming out" of the downward spiral and projected improvements among small businesses as positive signs for future grads.
Counseling Today Looking for Information about Supportive Therapy Groups
Counseling Today is gathering information about supportive therapy groups catering to the spouses and family members of individuals living with long-term mental illness. Editors want to learn more about the planning process, group style and what results to expect. If you have led or been a part of groups aiming to help those dealing with the diagnosis of a loved one, CT would like to hear your story. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a part of a future article
Fast Fact: Postsecondary Education Population Hits Record High
The share of 18- to 24-year-olds attending college in the U.S. hit an all-time high in October 2008, driven by a recession-era surge in enrollments at community colleges, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Just under 11.5 million students, or 39.6% of all young adults ages 18 to 24, were enrolled in either a two- or four-year college in October 2008. Both figures--the absolute number as well as the share--are at their highest level ever. Virtually all the increase from 2007 to 2008 came at community colleges, which saw enrollment by young adults increase by about 10%.
Calendar: ASGW National and ID, ND, & NC State Conferences
January 21-23, 2010
February 1-3, 2010
February 17-19, 2010
February 18-21, 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 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.
Direct comments, questions, and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 2009, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703-823-9800. Email: email@example.com. 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.
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