GAPP - Government Affairs and Public Policy

The Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) team advocates for ACA members and the counseling profession on a range of issues, including Medicare reimbursement, portability, and school counseling funding.

Adding your voice makes our message stronger. Join us by contacting your representatives on issues that matter to you using our Action Center resources.

We encourage you to email us with questions or comments at advocacy@counseling.org



Latest News

House Energy and Commerce Recommends Behavioral Health Provisions

by Danny Le | Feb 23, 2021
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's legislative recommendations for budget reconciliation includes mental health provisions that may be of importance to the counseling community.

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a markup of the Committee's legislative recommendations for budget reconciliation. It included the following mental health provisions which may be of importance to the counseling community (the legislative text relating to public health can be found here):

  • $3.5 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Community Mental Health block grant programs administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Both programs provide funding to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and six Pacific jurisdictions. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant program also supports the Chippewa Tribal Nation.
  • $80 million for mental and behavioral health training for health care professionals, paraprofessionals and public safety officers.
  • $20 million for a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals and first responders.
  • $40 million in grants for health care providers to promote mental and behavioral health amongst the health professional workforce.
  • $80 million to develop new grant programs at SAMHSA to allow additional entities, such as community-based entities and behavioral health organizations, to receive grants to support mental health and substance use disorder services. 
  • $10 million for the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network, an existing SAMHSA program that works to develop and promote effective community practices for children and adolescents exposed to a wide array of traumatic events.
  • $50 million for existing SAMHSA grant programs that support youth mental health services and suicide prevention efforts.
  • $100 million to the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, which is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to expand access to behavioral health services through focused training for behavioral health paraprofessionals, such as peer support specialists.

If you have questions or would like to become involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at advocacy@counseling.org.

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