CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at 


Mar 28, 2018

ACA Member Support Helped to Significantly Increase Funding for Student Mental Health Programs


The American Counseling Association (ACA) thanks its members for supporting ACA efforts to increase funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant Program (SSAE).

You heard our call. With support from more than 2,000 ACA members, funding for the SSAE grant program increased from $400 million to $1.1 billion. This proves that YOU can make a difference!

The American Counseling Association also thanks House congressional leaders for authorizing a $700 million increase in funds for the SSAE grant program in their 2018 spending bill.

“With the help of thousands of ACA members, we were able to bring a strong, united voice to the national debate on school policy,” American Counseling Association Director of Government Affairs Art Terrazas said. “We thank all of you for your efforts to ensure that our nation’s students have access to the resources and tools they will need as they work to reach their potential.”     

Inside the Grant Program

The SSAE grant program provides safe, healthy learning environments for students nationally. These grants are intended to fund, in large part, a “well-rounded education.”

School districts are permitted to choose from a number of activities that constitute a well-rounded education, including expanding access to or coordinating resources for school–based mental health services and supports, which may include trauma-informed practices; the establishment and maintenance of school counseling programs; bullying prevention; and professional development for personnel in crisis management and school-based violence prevention strategies.

School-based mental health services are critical in developing well-rounded students. It is important that all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are provided with the resources that allow them to thrive.

This level of funding will allow school districts to have true flexibility in determining how to meaningfully invest in and support programs that support safe and healthy students. It will also play an important role in stopping violence, through school-based mental health and other prevention programs, so children can focus on learning.

How You Can Help

If you would like to get involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact Dillon Harp, Grassroots Coordinator, by email at or by telephone at 800-347-6647, extension 202..

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