By: Brian D. Banks, Director Government Affairs & Public Policy
As I sit in my home office practicing social/physical distancing, I am contemplating what I would like to share with you. This contemplation is not an avoidance of our current reality, but is a hesitation on my part in order not to play down the concerns we all share.
We have concerns for our families, friends, colleagues and clients. When it comes to our well-being, we often put ourselves last. I am asking you to stop, if just for a moment, and to put yourself first.
It is a difficult task I am asking of you. However, I ask you to consider this because, when you have a caring heart like you do, and you attempt to put yourself first, you will almost immediately find reasons to put others first.
Why do we do this? My simple, and maybe biased, answer is because it is how we are built.
I am asking you to take this time to put your health and well-being first, simply because there are people who need you and trust you. If we do not take care of our own health, we will not be as effective as we can be to help those in need. I often have to remind myself of this.
For me, part of me taking care of myself is knowing the needs of our counseling community. It is comforting to know we have a membership that has a desire to help clients, day in and day out. And all of you perform your jobs without complaining, despite the abundance of effort it takes to remain effective in your profession.
Simply put, professional counselors matter and professional counselors make a positive difference in people’s lives every day.
As the ACA Director of Government Affairs, it is my responsibility to represent our profession to our legislators and regulators throughout the country. I take pride in this major responsibility and would like you, the members, to know you can count on the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team to always support the profession at the highest level. We proudly spend countless hours educating and empowering your elected and appointed officials every day.
Currently there are valid concerns on parity, telebehavioral health and telecounseling, Medicaid payments and more, due to the state of emergency we are in. This emergency is no one’s fault and we cannot change our nation’s status. During this extraordinary time, your ACA Government Affairs team continues to pay attention to legislation priorities and opportunities and is acting on behalf of the profession and the clients we serve.
Counselors matter—and ACA is here to help you.