ACAeNews | Volume X | Number 20

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Mental Health Parity Bill Enacted

After many long years of effort, ACA and other mental health advocates have gained the enactment of strong federal mental health and addictive disorder parity legislation. On Friday, October 3rd, the House of Representatives passed a financial rescue and tax policy bill, including landmark mental health and addictive disorder parity protections.

The House vote was 263 to 171, and occurred early in the afternoon. By 3pm, the legislation had been delivered to, and signed into law by President Bush. The swift enactment of the legislation came less than 48 hours after the Senate passed the bill on Wednesday, by a 74-25 vote.

The section of the legislation on parity--entitled the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008--will require most private sector health plans to provide insurance coverage for mental and addictive disorder services on the same terms and conditions as other types of care. The parity provisions had been included in a package of highly popular tax policy extensions approved recently by wide margins in both the House and Senate, but that had been stalled due to disagreements over the extent to which they should be paid for. The tax extenders, including the parity language, were combined with the financial rescue package passed by the Senate on Wednesday.

ACA thanks all counselors who took the time to advocate on behalf of the parity legislation. Your work made this victory possible. ACAís public policy staff will provide a detailed description of the parity legislation shortly, which will be posted to the web site on the Public Policy page. ACA will be working alongside AMHCA and other mental health advocacy organizations on the implementation of the legislation through the regulatory process. Please contact Scott Barstow with ACAís public policy staff with any questions you might have on the parity legislation, at 800-347-6647 x234,

Urgent Need for ACA Members to Volunteer in Texas

Red Cross Disaster Mental Health (DMH) needs more professional counselors to support workers and clients in Texas as part of the Hurricane Ike relief operation. The DMH eligibility requirements are:

  • Independently, state-licensed, masterís level (or higher) mental health professionals (social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychiatric nurses)
  • State-licensed or state-certified, masterís level (or higher) school counselors and school psychologists
  • Licensed psychiatric RNs or RNs with at least two years experience working with direct client service in a behavioral health setting

Although the hurricane is not in the news anymore, the Red Cross is still in great need of licensed mental health professionals to support the ongoing sheltering and feeding operations for thousands of disaster survivors.

If you are interested and available for a national deployment between now and October 21, 2008 for a minimum of 10 days and up to 3 weeks, please contact your local Red Cross chapter. To find the Red Cross chapter closest to you, please go to the Chapter Locater website at Please be aware that prior to a national deployment, mental health volunteers must register as Red Cross volunteers, have a quick background check and complete the Foundations of Disaster Mental Health training to prepare them for their volunteer roles and to ensure the safety and welfare of Red Cross clients and workers.

If you have any trouble contacting your chapter or being able to quickly obtain the Foundations of Mental Health training (a prerequisite before deployment), please call Rob Yin, DMH Manager, at Red Cross National Headquarters at (202) 303-4036 so that he can provide assistance and/or schedule a 2-hour, condensed DMH training for you via teleconference call.

The work in Texas is not easy and your Red Cross chapter will inform you of some of the hardship conditions that you may face. The work, however, is very rewarding. If you or someone you know can deploy to support the relief operations in Texas, please contact your local Red Cross chapter.

JCD Now Available Free Online to ACA Members

ACA is pleased to announce a new member benefit: free online access to Journal of Counseling & Development (JCD). Full text article downloads that were previously available for a fee are now available free to current ACA members. Articles from 2000 to the present are searchable by author, title, and keyword to assist you with your research and writing.

  • To access JCD articles free of charge, ACA members must log on to the ACA Web site at and click on the Journals page under the "Publications" link or the ACA Library under the "Resources" link.

Non-members may continue to visit to search JCD abstracts free of charge and to download articles for a fee. Online subscriptions are also available for purchase at our MetaPress site by nonmembers and members.

CES Now Available Free Online to ACES Members

ACES is pleased to announce a new member benefit: free online access to Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) articles. Full text article downloads that were previously available for a fee are now available free to current ACES members. Articles from 2000 to the present are searchable by author, title, and keyword to assist you with your research and writing.

  • To access CES articles free of charge ACES members must log on the ACES Web site at and click on "CES-New!"

Non-members may continue to visit to search CES abstracts free of charge and to download articles for a fee. Online subscriptions are also available for purchase at our MetaPress site by nonmembers and members.

ACA Ross Trust Scholarship Competition Opens: November 24 Deadline

The ACA Ross Trust Scholarship competition for Masters and Doctoral level counselor education students is currently underway. ACA member students planning to work in educational settings can be nominated by member counselor educators and thus compete for one of fifteen $1,000 scholarships (10 Masters, 5 Doctoral). In addition, the recipients will be awarded free membership for one year and complimentary registration for the ACA Conference & Exposition in Charlotte.

Information and links are available at The deadline is November 24, 2008. Winners will be announced in early 2009. Questions should be directed to

Worth Reading: Netiquette for Children and Youth

The monthly edition of Edutopia contains a feature article on the teaching of "netiquette" to children and youth that counselors may wish to read and then share with students, parents, teachers, and colleagues. Especially interesting is a "Don't Even Think About It: The Basics of Netiquette" section by author Laila Weir.


New ACA Podcast Focuses on Counseling Queer Youth

Anneliese Singh, President of the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) is interviewed in the new ACA Podcast program regarding her views on counseling lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-gender youth or queer youth. (Once a derogatory term, queer is now used and accepted in the LGBT community.)

Available to members only, the new ACA Podcast addresses what counselors need to know about working with queer youth and points to research on the importance of individual counseling and the creation of safe and supportive environments in serving LGBT youth. The program outlines the use of the ALGBTIC Competencies.


Conference Clipping: New Learning Institute on Vicarious Trauma Added to Conference Program

ACA has added one more Pre-Conference Learning Institute: Day After Day the Price You Pay: Managing Your Second Hand Shock will be presented by Ellie Izzo, PhD, and Vicki Carpel Miller, MS, on Friday, March 20, 2009. Vicarious trauma, or second-hand shock, is the cumulative impact that clients' trauma stories have on us. It is an Advanced level, full day LI running from 9 am to 4:30pm.

Review the full description of this new LI and all 41 LIs. If you have already registered, you can still add an LI or a ticketed function such as a Division Meal Function. To add an LI or event, go online (instructions are posted there) or call 800-347-6647, ext 222. Be a part of the largest conclave of professional counselors in the world. Join ACA in Charlotte, NC, March 19-23, 2009.


Fast Fact: Graduate Degrees in America on the Rise

According to the Council of Graduate Schools, the number of doctoral degrees awarded in the United States rose by nine percent in 2007, marking nearly a decade of continued growth. COGS represents institutions that award 73% of the master's degrees and 90% of the doctoral degrees in the nation. The annual report includes statistics on applications to graduate study, new enrollments and degrees conferred.


ACA Foundation Grants to Sponsor 20 Students to National Conference

The ACA Foundation Student Grant program again will be sponsoring the participation of 20 students at the ACA 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, NC. Each grant covers student member registration for the conference, but recipients are personally responsible for their transportation and lodging expenses.

Applicants must be a student member enrolled currently as a graduate student at a university or college in the field of counseling or a related course of study and must be attending the ACA conference for the first time. Applications must be received by January 23, 2009 and recipients will be notified by February 18, 2009. Obtain applications and direct questions to the ACA Foundation office at 800-347-6647 x350 or

Special Interest Network Focuses on Athletes and Sports Counseling

The ACA Sports Counseling Interest Network is an online forum focused on helping members learn about the issues associated with counseling athletes and the practice of sports counseling. The online network hopes to develop a presence among students, practicing counselors, counselor educators and other professionals to foster research and generate resources that may be used in counseling athletes. Finally, the network hopes to generate a presentation track on sports counseling topics at future ACA conferences.

The network will be meeting in Charlotte to enlist new participants and address items of interest. Members who are interested in joining the network are urged to contact Taunya Marie Tinsley at and Holly Clubb at

This is one of nine special interest networks available to ACA members. Upcoming editions of ACAeNews will profile other Special Interest Networks.

ACA/APA Members Lead Free Webinar on Military Mental Health October 13

Dr. David Fenell, chair of last year's ACA Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, will co-lead a webinar discussion titled Treating Returning Servicemembers: Are Mental Health Professionals Ready? He will be joined by Dr. Will Wilson, president of the American Psychological Association's Society for Military Psychology. The webinar is being hosted by Capella University. The discussion will be webcast live on October 13 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Time. ACA members are invited to pre-register for the webinar and participate online. For more info, please see

The discussion will include such topics as the mental health and re-entry needs of returning servicemembers, veterans, and their families; the preparedness of mental health professionals and the community, and the role of education in addressing these issues. Webinar participants will be able to submit questions online during the live discussion. The discussion will also be archived and available later on the ACA website.


October 22-25
Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

Hilton-Post Oak, Houston, TX

October 23-26
Southern Region Leadership Conference

The Peabody Hotel, Little Rock, Arkansas

For additional information, contact ACA's Southern Region Chair, Jeffrey Freiden 501-906-4000

October 31-November 2
Colorado Counseling Association Annual Fall Conference
Holiday Inn, Estes Park, CO

November 1
Wisconsin Counseling Association 2008 Fall Summit
Mid State Technical College Campus, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

November 5-8
Texas Counseling Association
Houston Galleria, Houston, TX

November 6-9
European Branch-ACA Fall Conference

Ramada Inn Micador. Wiesbaden-Niedernhausen, Germany

November 6-9
Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

Doral Desert Princess Resort, Palm Springs, CA

November 6-9
Western Region Leadership Conference

Seattle University, Seattle, WA
Silver Cloud Hotel - 800-497-1261

For additional information, contact ACA's Western Region Chair, Mary Schroeder -

November 12-14
Puerto Rican Professional Counseling Association

El Gran Melia Hotel, Puerto Rico
Details: Contact Ramonita de Lourdes Diaz Jimenez at

ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately eight 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, site, and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.


ACAeNews is published biweekly by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members and the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity or listing of a web site 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 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.

Colleen Logan, President

Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director

Debra Bass, Interim Director of Marketing

Frank Burtnett, ACAeNews Editor

Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production

ACA Web site:

Copyright 2008, 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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