Each year, it seems like my April column serves as a reminder that this is Counseling Awareness Month — a recognition that we came up with many, many years ago. I felt there were so many stories to tell, so much to be proud of and so many activities to conduct that a single “counseling awareness week” just would not do. So, we have a full month instead, and even that seems too short at times.
Counseling Awareness Month is designed to increase understanding of the wonderful work that all of you do, day in and day out. As some have heard me say, counselors are great advocates for their clients and students, but not always for themselves. I hope Counseling Awareness Month will be a time when you let others know about one of the world’s greatest professions.
Because we know your time is limited, ACA has this year provided more information on our website to help you celebrate this special month. In addition, we have expanded our event by partnering with key organizations to amplify public attention on counseling and the role of professional counselors. I’m asking you to reach out to organizations with which you are connected to let them know that we would be honored to have them engage in the celebration of Counseling Awareness Month. Our “ask” of our partners is as follows:
- Share ACA’s social images and posts about Counseling Awareness Month on their social media channels during the month of April. We have a partner toolkit with branded images available at counseling.org.
- Include the announcement of Counseling Awareness Month in their organization, school or university department newsletters. References in other communication channels such as emails, memos, etc., are also appreciated.
- Include a link to ACA’s Counseling Awareness Month landing page on their site as a mental health resource.
I hope all of you will participate in our social media challenges, which will include a photo contest and our #BurnBrightNotOut contest. Another component of our monthlong event will take place Friday, April 10, when we ask people to wear the color teal in a show of solidarity for professional counseling.
We are pushing to make this the best Counseling Awareness Month ever. My hope is that we can count on you to help us increase awareness of the important work that all of you do.
This is a great opportunity to let our various communities know about professional counseling.
I believe Counseling Awareness Month could also be “Counselor Appreciation Month” because that is what I feel about all of you. I hope you will “celebrate yourselves” by recognizing each other in some special way. Please know that your efforts are appreciated and that your work (although grueling at times) really does make the world a better place.
Finally, I want to recognize so many of you for the work you are doing with clients and students regarding concern over the new coronavirus (COVID-19). I know this epidemic has caused a great deal of anxiety and stress. I also know that we must do all we can to protect ourselves. I encourage you to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as those from the World Health Organization. ACA has information about COVID-19 on our website too.