Counseling Awareness Month Honors Professionals Who Foster Mental Health and Wellness

Apr 1, 2024

The American Counseling Association celebrates the field’s role in debunking mental illness stigma and providing care

Alexandria, Va. (April 1, 2024) — Licensed professional counselors represent the second largest segment of the behavioral and mental health workforce, according to government data. At a time when the need for mental health services in the U.S. is higher than ever, counselors play a key role in increasing access to and delivering mental health care.

To recognize and uplift the individuals who provide these important services, the American Counseling Association (ACA) celebrates Counseling Awareness Month each April.

Behavioral and Mental Health Providers by Type (2020)

This year, Counseling Awareness Month coincides with ACA’s 2024 Conference & Expo — April 11–13 in New Orleans — the premiere educational and networking event for counseling professionals. The ACA event occurs as the field marks Teal Day (April 12), which recognizes counselors’ role in debunking the stigma related to mental illness and promoting mental health, self-care and wellbeing.

“We’re thrilled to be together at the ACA Annual Conference & Expo during Counseling Awareness Month,” said ACA Chief Executive Officer Shawn E. Boynes. “Having thousands of counselors together on Teal Day, in particular, will bring a new energy and sense of community at a time when demands on mental health providers are great. We’re happy to have the opportunity to gather, celebrate, show appreciation and recognize the great work that counselors are doing.”

The importance of this work is rising as the U.S. faces what nine in 10 adults say is a mental health crisis, according to a recent survey. More than 30% of U.S. adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression. Substance abuse and suicide rates have climbed dramatically in recent years and have disproportionately affected people of color.

Professional counselors are trained and credentialed to diagnose and treat clients with mental or behavioral health issues, such as anxiety, depression or substance use disorder. They also work with clients without a mental health diagnosis who seek to generally improve their well-being and achieve their goals.

“A counselor is a trained professional who walks with the client without judgement to wherever they see their destination,” said ACA President Edil Torres Rivera, PhD, a Wichita State University professor and expert on multicultural counseling. “And along the way, we’re equipped to provide different alternatives to help the client move past the obstacles they face."

To learn about Counseling Awareness Month and the beneficial role that counseling can play in your life, visit


Founded in 1952, the American Counseling Association (ACA) is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. ACA represents more than 58,000 members and is the world’s largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings. Driven by the belief that all people can benefit from the power of counseling, ACA’s mission is to promote the professional development of counselors, advocate for counselors, and ensure that ethical, culturally inclusive practices protect our members’ clients and all people who seek counseling services.