Americans Greet 2008 with Waning Optimism
The most recent national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted in late December, reveals that optimism is a waning commodity among the American population. The economy, war, threats of terrorism and other factors are contributing to a Pew finding that half of all citizens believe 2008 will be better than last year, down 7 percent in a year and nearly 10 percent in a decade. In the "look on the bright side" category, seven in ten are looking forward to the presidential election this November.
Advocacy Matters - Personal Phone Calls Needed for Counseling Agenda
Congress is returning for its 2008 session, and will be picking up where it left off last year on several issues of importance to counselors. ACA is hoping to gain some legislative "wins," and with member help, we'll succeed. Constituent contacts are a necessity for getting a lawmaker's attention. The more contacts they get, the more likely they are to do the right thing. Over the next two weeks, we need calls and e-mails on two issues:
1. Contact your Senator and ask him or her to cosponsor S. 921, legislation to establish Medicare coverage of counselors. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to take up Medicare legislation soon, and the more cosponsors we have on S. 921, the likelier it is that counselor coverage will be made part of the Senate's Medicare package.
2. On the other side of Capitol Hill, contact your Representatives to request passage of H.R. 1424, mental health and addictive disorder parity legislation, and to vote against any amendments to weaken H.R. 1424's protections. It is important that the House pass as strong a parity bill as possible, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that taking up the legislation remains a priority.
To learn more about these issues--and how you can help advocate for them--go to http://www.counseling.org/publicpolicy and http://capwiz.com/counseling. At the "capwiz" site, ACAeNews readers will be able to quickly identify their members of Congress and see suggested messages on these and other issues we're following. Direct questions to: Peter Atlee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Scott Barstow (email@example.com).
Fast Fact - Educational Attainment in the US
About 33 percent of women ages 25-29 had a bachelor's degree or more education in 2007, compared with 26 percent of their male counterparts. This is just one of the many new educational attainment findings compiled by the US Census Bureau and available in an online report from the agency. The data are shown by characteristics, including age, sex, race and national origin.
Relevant Research - Alcohol, Tobacco and Illicit Drug Use by Teens Falls
A December report by Monitoring the Future reveals a continued fall in alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use by American teenagers. Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults.
The Monitoring the Future Study has been funded under a series of investigator-initiated competing research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and carried out by the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Alcohol, tobacco and drug behaviors are monitored annually.
Worth Reading - Out-Of-School Programs Aimed at Risk Reduction
Child Trends, a nonprofit research organization, focuses its work on evidence-based solutions to programs and services for children and youth. Using the "What Works" clearinghouse on its website, Child Trends has released four briefs on the most promising out-of-school programs and approaches that have been shown to aid in risk-reduction and positive development of youth.
No Name Calling Week Focuses on Bullying and Related Youth Concerns
Nearly half (47%) of middle and junior high school youth in a recent US survey reported bullying and harassment as a problem of "somewhat" or "significant" proportion. Equally alarming is the finding that only 41 percent of this same age group feel safe in school. Counselors working with late childhood and early adolescent clients or dealing with name calling and related concerns will find the resources at the No Name Calling Week website useful. The website is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and Simon And Schuster Children's Publishing.
Reliable Resource - Anti-Drug Tools for Parents and Adult Caregivers
With the attention generated by a national media campaign, the messages of TheAntiDrug.com campaign of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign are getting a lot of television air time and print space in national periodicals. To compliment the media effort, The AntiDrug.com initiative has prepared a number of tools and resources for parents and other adult caregivers to use in their quest to raise drug free kids.
AMCD Celebrates Rich History of Involvement in Multicultural Counseling
This year, the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) will be celebrating its 35th anniversary. Beginning as the Association for Non-White Concerns (ANWC) under the leadership of the late Samuel Johnson, the division has had a consistent presence in the discipline of counseling and psychology for over three decades and was responsible for the development of the Multicultural Counseling Competencies (MCC), a statement that guides mental health and education professionals across multiple counseling disciplines.
At the upcoming ACA conference and throughout 2008, AMCD will sponsor events to celebrate its rich history. Counselors from across all specialties are encouraged to visit the AMCD website (http://www.amcdaca.org) for more information on upcoming activities. Happy Birthday, AMCD!
University of North Texas, University of Toledo Win Ethics Competition
ACA just announced the winners in the 4th Annual Ethics Case Study Competition sponsored by the ACA Ethics Committee. At the Doctoral level, the 1st place winner was the University of Toledo team, with Dr. Nick Piazza as the faculty member. At the Master's level, the 1st place winner was the University of North Texas team, with Dr. Casey Barrio Minton as the faculty member. View all winners and the winning entries.
Conference Clipping #1 - Discount Registration Expires February 15, 2008
The cold temperatures and snowy conditions throughout much of the US may be the perfect incentive to think of sunny, warm and tropical Hawaii and the ACA Conference & Exposition, March 26-30, 2008. If you haven't registered yet, you have less than one month to do so at the discount rate. Discount registration rates expire February 15, 2008.
ACA's Travel Service has negotiated special rates with American, Continental, Northwest, Aloha, and other airlines. Call the Hawaii Hotline at 888-951-4613 to check on fares from your nearest airport.
Conference Clipping #2 - Free Consults on Licensure, Ethics, Careers
Interested in getting some one-on-one feedback from some of ACA's experts? If you're planning to attend the ACA Conference in Hawaii, you can schedule free 15-minute consultations with Larry Freeman (Licensure and Ethics) or Amy Connelly (Career Services). Appointments with Bob Walsh and Norm Dasenbrook (ACA's Private Practice Initiative) are also available at a special, reduced conference rate. To schedule time with Larry Freeman or Walsh & Dasenbrook, contact Martha McIntosh (firstname.lastname@example.org). For an appointment with Amy Connelly, e-mail email@example.com.
Special Focus eNewsletter to debut soon
One of the "value added" elements of ACA membership is that ACAeNews is growing and members will soon be able to access a series of special focus enewsletters designed to address counseling settings across the profession. Members who have an interest in mental health, private practice, community agency, schools, and counselor education, can subscribe by opting in to these new enewsletters. This is a free member benefit! Watch for emails offering you the opportunity to opt-in.
Grants, Grants, Grants - SAMHSA Offers Array of Federal Grant Opportunities
The new year provides an opportunity for counselors in mental health settings to examine how federal grants might improve and extend their professional work and how them may apply for study assistance. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration website provides comprehensive grant guidelines and program information.
Noteworthy Events and Important Dates
January 31, 2008
Postmark deadline for voting by mail in ACA Elections
February 6-9, 2008
Event: American College Counseling Association 4th National Conference
Location: Savannah, GA
February 8-10, 2008
Event: South Carolina Counseling Association 43rd Annual Conference
Location: Marriott Resort, Myrtle Beach, SC
February 10-12, 2008
Event: North Dakota Counseling Association Annual Conference
Location: Best Western - Ramkota, Bismarck, ND
February 15-18, 2008
Event: California Counseling Association
Location: Conference cruise from Long Beach, CA, to Ensenada, Mexico
February 23-26, 2008
ACA Legislative Institute
March 26-30, 2008
ACA 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition
Location: Honolulu, HI
Conference Related Deadlines:
January 31, 2008: Deadline for pre-registration for Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Training course
February 15, 2008: Last discount registration opportunity
February 22, 2008: Deadline for discount rates on hotels
March 31-April 1 (Pre-conference on March 30)
Event: Maine Counseling Association Annual Conference
Location: Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME
Details... or contact Jeannie McKenney at firstname.lastname@example.org
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