Last week the American Counseling Association sent a representative to the CitiesThrive conference in New York City. CitiesThrive is a coalition of 185 municipalities working to develop innovative new ways to address mental health challenges, close treatment gaps, and partner with other communities to create culturally competent solutions. ACA is one of several associations that have also joined CitiesThrive. Counselors work in a number of municipal settings: crisis hotlines, prisons, community outreach, law enforcement, as well as schools. Attendees heard from speakers who shared challenges their cities face and solutions that are working for them. The importance of civil service was discussed in connection with the contributions that mental health professionals make to their cities and towns as municipal employees.
CitiesThrive also advocates for federal funding for a number of important programs at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other agencies that ACA also supports. And CitiesThrive has been working to keep mental health benefits included in Obamacare insurance plans, and to keep the program in existence, as well as the Medicaid funding it provides. These are important goals not just for municipalities but for everyone in the mental health system. When ACA joins with 185 mayors from cities large and small, from New York to San Francisco, to ask for sufficient mental health funding, it amplifies everyone’s voice.
You can learn more about CitiesThrive here.