Earlier this year, President Obama called on Americans to start a “national conversation to increase understanding about mental health," and directed the secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education to launch the National Dialogue on Mental Health. ACA is answering the President's call by partnering with Creating Community Solutions, an integral part of the National Dialogue initiative.
Creating Community Solutions aims to foster discussions on mental health issues by organizing community conversations in cities and towns across the nation, as well as through social media outreach. More than 53,000 counseling professionals are part of ACA, and it is our hope that members will lend their professional expertise by participating in these local conversations and engaging people through social media channels.
Through this partnership, you can find information on pre-scheduled local conversations hosted by Creating Community Solutions, as well as resources that will help you plan and host your own community conversation. ACA's partnership with Creating Community Solutions also provides detailed instructions for using social media to connect with other interested parties who may want to participate and/or share your thoughts during and after an event. By leveraging Facebook and Twitter, you will have a greater chance of engaging more members of your community.
These National Dialogue conversations provide a great opportunity for counseling professionals to contribute expert advice, learn more about the mental health needs of their surrounding communities, and help create lasting and meaningful solutions to our nation's mental health challenges.
Though Creating Community Solutions has already hosted events in Albuquerque and Sacramento, the program is still in its infancy. If counseling professionals get involved, we can ensure that these community conversations become constructive steps toward reducing stigma and making mental health a priority for everyone.