The American Counseling Association (ACA) has earned a 2015 ASAE Power of A Silver Award for its efforts during Counseling Awareness Month 2014 to fight the stigma associated with seeking help.
ACA’s I AM HERE campaign shared video testimonials of counselors presented as passionate and diverse people committed to helping people from all walks of life and all depths of despair to survive and thrive in today's world.
ASAE honored the campaign in which ACA members began powerful videos with an I AM HERE statement. The testimonials share counselors’ experiences helping addicts, parents, members of law enforcement and transgender individuals, among others. Viewers around the world were asked to share the video compilations—via social media—in an effort to help spread the word that mental health matters.
“Congratulations to ACA for helping make the world a better place,” said Hugh “Mac” Cannon, MPA, CAE, Executive Director of ACEC of Metropolitan Washington, and chair of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. “Their story exemplifies how associations make a difference every day – not just to the industry or profession they represent, but to society at large.”
A corresponding Faces of Counseling Member Portrait Project complemented the I AM HERE campaign by showcasing today’s counselors as a diverse reflection of society and asking: “Think you know what a counselor looks like?” Encouraging a dialogue about counselors and counseling advanced society by actively fighting a stigma that ultimately hurts everyone. ACA was proud to create such a unique opportunity in which dedicated, passionate members could speak from the heart: unfiltered, unedited, with disarming sincerity.
“Our campaign truly represents the power of associations, in its ability to educate the public about a critical matter and also to empower everyday people to better understand and take charge of their mental health,” said Amber McLaughlin, ACA Director of Strategic Communications. “By bringing the faces and voices of professional counselors to a common, user-friendly platform, ACA was able to address the confusion many people experience regarding the various types of mental health professionals.”
ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global level. The Power of A Awards reward outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals for their efforts to enrich lives, create a competitive workforce, prepare society for the future, drive innovation and make a better world.