ACAeNews | Volume XIII | Number 6

April is Counseling Awareness Month

ACA members are encouraged to use the observance to call attention to the counseling needs of their clients and the myriad ways professional counselors, in varied settings, respond to those needs. We hope you will engage your institutions, organizations, and agencies, and strive to initiate community outreach efforts during the month of April. Check out ACA's Counseling Awareness Month Celebration Guide for ideas.

In this issue readers will find:

Visit our website:

ACA blogs, written by counselors, for counselors:

View Free CE of Month


ACA Conference

New Senate Medicare Bill - S. 604 - Introduced to Cover Counselors

Capitol BuildingACA's work to gain Medicare coverage of state-licensed professional counselors has taken a step forward, with the recent introduction of the "Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2011," S. 604, by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Barrasso (R-WY). The legislation would cover counselors and marriage and family therapists for the provision of medically necessary outpatient psychotherapy, under the same terms, conditions, and reimbursement rates as clinical social workers.

Counselors are strongly encouraged to contact both of their Senators to ask them to cosponsor the legislation. In addition to Senators Wyden and Barrasso, the legislation is currently cosponsored by Senators Mark Begich (AK), Sherrod Brown (OH), Dick Durbin (IL), Daniel Inouye (HI), and Tim Johnson (SD). You can quickly identify your Senators and see sample messages regarding the legislation at ACA's internet action center, at As always when contacting legislators, describe in your own words why you're asking the legislator to take action, and be specific about what you want him or her to do.

Should you have any questions, contact Scott Barstow with ACA's public policy office at 800-347-664 x234, or at

Americans Living Longer, Healthier, Safer Lives

A study just released by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that U.S. life expectancy at birth increased to 78.2 years in 2009, up slightly from 78.0 years in 2008. Life expectancy was up one-tenth of a year for females to 80.6 years and two-tenths of a year for men to 75.6 years.

Other findings:

  • The age-adjusted death rate for the population fell to an all-time low of 741 deaths per 100,000 people in 2009 — 2.3% lower than the 2008 rate. This marks the 10th year in a row that death rates have declined.
  • Life expectancy for the white population increased by two-tenths of a year. Life expectancy for black males (70.9 years) and females (77.4 years) was unchanged in 2009. The gap in life expectancy between the white and black populations was 4.3 years in 2009, two-tenths of a year increase from the gap in 2008 of 4.1 years.
  • Age-adjusted death rates declined significantly for 10 of the 15 leading causes of death in 2009: heart disease (declined by 3.7%), cancer (1.1%), chronic lower respiratory diseases (4.1%), stroke (4.2%), accidents/unintentional injuries (4.1%), Alzheimer's disease (4.1%), diabetes (4.1%), influenza and pneumonia (4.7%), septicemia (1.8%), and homicide (6.8%).
  • In 2009, suicide passed septicemia (blood poisoning) to become the 10th leading cause of death.
  • Statistically significant decreases in mortality for 2008-2009 were registered for those under one year, 1-4 years, 15-24 years and across age groups ranging from 55-84 years. Other age groups did not experience significant change.

Full CDC Report...

In New Orleans This Week: Increase Your Chances of Being Published

Plan ScheduleTake the opportunity at the ACA Conference & Exposition to meet with journal editors to learn the "dos and don'ts" of publishing in scholarly journals at the "Publishing in ACA Refereed Journals: Suggestions from the Council of Editors" content session. This session will take place Friday, March 25 from 2:00–3:30 pm in Room R05 on the second floor of the Convention Center (Note: The location for this session has changed since the Program Guide was published!)

This 90-minute session is designed to promote writing, research, and scholarship to increase the knowledge base of the profession; to provide the skills needed for successful publishing in ACA refereed journals; and to clarify and demystify the publication process. Guidelines, insights, and practical tips on publishing will be offered by members of the ACA Council of Journal Editors. A Q&A will follow a brief overview of the publishing process.

The following journals will be represented during this session:

  • Adultspan – Jane Rheineck
  • The Career Development Quarterly – Jerry Trusty
  • Counseling and Values – Richard Watts
  • Counselor Education and Supervision – Linda Black and Heather Helm
  • Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology – Rebecca Toporek
  • Journal for Specialists in Group Work – Sheri Bauman
  • Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling and The Family Journal – Stephen Southern
  • Journal of College Counseling – Joshua Watson
  • Journal of Counseling & Development – Spencer Niles
  • Journal of Creativity in Mental Health – Thelma Duffey
  • Journal of Employment Counseling – Roberta Neault
  • Journal of GLBT Issues in Counseling – Ned Farley
  • Journal of Humanistic Counseling – Colette Dollarhide
  • Journal of Mental Health Counseling – Quinn Pearson
  • Professional School Counseling – Amy Milsom
  • Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin – Douglas Strohmer

Study Finds Recommendation Letters May be Hurting Women; Helping Men

Researchers at Rice University who examined 624 recommendation letters for eight junior faculty positions at a U.S. university, found that writers of these letters are prone to make different comments when supporting the candidacy of women versus men. Analysis of the substance of the letters found women described in communal terms (social, emotive, affectionate, helpful, kind, sympathetic, nurturing, tactful, agreeable, etc), while men were described in more active or assertive terms. Bottom line: Differences in recommendation letters are having a negative influence on the hiring and promotion of women in academia and medicine. The research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Rice University News Release...

Have You Been Selected for DSM-5 Field Testing?

Field test sites have now been determined for the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. ACA would like to identify counselors who were selected to participate in the DSM-5 field tests. If you will be involved, please let ACA's Chief Professional Officer, David Kaplan, know at

Worth Reading: One Third of College Students Have Sought Mental Health Counseling

Worth ReadingA new study of more than 25,000 college students has found that one-third of them have sought mental health counseling. The "Consortium Mental Health and Counseling Study" was conducted by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University and released at the NASPA meeting recently. The findings were also the subject of a Chronicle of Higher Education story.

Chronicle of Higher Education Story...

Last Call for ACA Sponsored Delegation to Brazil

There is still time to participate in the ACA sponsored People to People Citizen Ambassador delegation to Brazil from May 7-15, 2011. The delegation will be led by Dr. Gargi Roysircar, an ACA leader and past president of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development.

The delegation will seek to increase collaboration with Brazilian counselors and counseling organizations on topics of mutual interest. This will be combined with cultural activities highlighting the sights and sounds of the country. Additional program details and an application form are available by calling 877.787.2000 or emailing A direct link to the planned itinerary can be found online at:

Relevant Research: U.S. Has Highest Rate of Bipolar Disorder

The United States has the highest lifetime rate of bipolar disorder, an 11- nation study finds. About 4.4% of Americans were diagnosed with the condition at some point in their lifetime, researchers report in a new study partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Around the world, 2.4% of the population experienced bipolar disorder; India had the lowest rate at 0.1%. The study also reports that fewer than half of the individuals with the disorder were treated by a mental health professional, and only a quarter of those in poorer countries sought treatment.

CNN Health News Online...

ACA Public Policy Staff to Host Conference Call April 5

Conference CallCatch up on the status of public policy issues of importance to counselors and counseling programs by participating in the ACA conference call on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 from 1pm – 2pm ET. Time has been set aside for Q&A with ACA Public Policy and Legislation staff members.

To participate, call 559-546-1000 and enter participant access code 518740#. Note that long-distance charges will apply. Direct questions to Christie Lum at 1-800-347-6647, x354 or

In the News: States Slash Mental Health Funding

Over two-thirds of states have cut a cumulative $1.8 billion from mental health services between fiscal years 2009 and 2011, according to a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. More than a dozen states reduced their mental health budgets by more than 10%. The actual impact may be worse because federal stimulus money has cushioned the blow by pumping $103 billion into the states through Medicaid since early 2009. The stimulus money has been keeping state-run health insurance programs afloat for the last 2 years, but it will end this year.

Mental Health on

ACA Blog: A Little About a Lot

ACA BlogsIt's hard to describe what a visitor may find at ACA's blog is used to ask for assistance and offer assistance. It is used by some to comment on their work and by others to vent —even rant— regarding their challenges and frustrations.

As much as anything, it uses social media to allow counselors to interact with peers on personal and professional issues. Take a moment to visit You may rant, comment, agree, disagree, or just vent.

Reliable Resource: Connecting with People in Japan Following Disaster

If you or anyone you know has a need to reconnect with individuals in Japan during this time of earthquake recovery and relief, visit the International Red Cross at and follow the steps presented there. If you wish to make a donation, click here.

Calling All Practicing School Counselors!

Raised HandsPlease support school counseling by completing this quick, online survey. Though this survey is for practicing school counselors only, the ACA Task Force for School Counseling plans similar surveys for counselor educators, school counselor supervisors, and other important stakeholders. Thank you to those who have already completed the school counselor survey!

"Boost Up" Program To Empower Teens To Stay in School

The Advertising Council and the U.S. Army are collaborating on a new program, "Boost Up at School," that seeks to empower teens to stay in school and graduate. "Boosting" is defined in the program as creating an environment in which students help their peers by encouraging them to make good decisions, take responsibility for their actions, and seek resources that lead to success. Program components include the Boost High Online Game and a number of educator resources designed to implement the program. One out of every three students fails to graduate in four years, according to the Teacher's Guide.

Boost Up Educator Link...

Calendar: April Offers State Branch Conferences in NJ, MO, ME, CT, and SD

ACA 2012 Conference & Expo
San Francisco, March 21-25
General Registration opens to all April 1, 2011

Branch: New Jersey Counseling Association
Theme: Counseling in the Cyber Age
Dates: April 1-3, 2011
Location: The Donald Warner Student Life Center, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ

Branch: American Counseling Association of Missouri
Dates: April 7-9, 2011
Location: Capitol Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City, MO

Branch: Maine Counseling Association
Dates: April 11-12, 2011
Location: Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME

Branch: Connecticut Counseling Association
Theme: Counseling Connections 2011 ~ Wellness Across the Lifespan
Dates: April 28-30, 2011
Location: Westside Campus of Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT

Branch: South Dakota Counseling Association
Theme: 50 Years of Counseling Excellence
Dates: April 28-30, 2011
Location: Sioux Falls Conference Center, Sioux Falls, SD

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 Please provide the sponsor, dates, theme, site, and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.

About ACAeNews

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. Past editions can be found here (login required).

Direct comments, questions, and submissions to All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness and relevance to the readership and may be edited to meet space parameters.

Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D., President

Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director

Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications

Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor

Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production

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Copyright 2011, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703/823-9800. Email: 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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