Tipper Gore to Speak at ACA 2006 Convention; Diversity, Disasters Top Issues for Counselors Today

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Tipper Gore to Speak at ACA 2006 Convention; Diversity, Disasters Top Issues for Counselors Today

Empowering Latino families. Counseling soldiers in combat. Energizing older workers. Coping with hurricanes and other traumas. Reducing test anxiety in schools.

These are just some of the societal issues facing individuals, families, schools, and organizations today and all are on the program for the 2006 American Counseling Association/Canadian Counselling Association Annual Convention which begins Saturday, April 1.

Nearly 3,000 counseling professionals from the U.S., Canada, and 16 other countries will convene in Montreal this month to learn, share ideas and discuss effective strategies for helping their clients cope with a multitude of mental health, career and school counseling issues. Counselors from Japan, United Arab Emirates, Chile, Italy, Palau and 11 other countries will be in attendance at the largest global event for counseling professionals.

The 2006 Convention is being held in conjunction with the Canadian Counselling Association (CCA). The convention theme—“Culture-Centered and Diversity Counseling Empowers all Families”—reflects global concerns with understanding and appreciating one’s culture and strengthening families. Canadians have a huge stake in multiculturalism due to a population lull. We are going to have to rely on people coming in from outside of Canada to supplement the labor force,” said Barbara MacCallum, CCA Executive Director.

Mental health issues also loom large in both the U.S. and Canada as both countries face challenges in obtaining reimbursement from insurance companies for some mental health services. Tipper Gore, wife of former vice president Al Gore and a strong advocate for mental health issues will focus everyone’s attention on mental health issues in her keynote presentation Sunday, April 2 at 9:30 a.m. Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy and one of Canada’s most influential commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights, will deliver a keynote address Saturday, April 1 at 9:30 a.m.     

Attendees will choose from over 500 educational sessions on traditional topics such as marriage counseling, teen suicide, depression and career counseling; contemporary issues such as Cybersex and Internet safety; and specialty topics such as counseling persons with disabilities.

“Counseling professionals today are called upon to address a wide array of issues and they must approach all of them with a strong understanding of diversity and multiculturalism,” said ACA President Patricia Arredondo.    

EDITOR’S NOTE: Interviews can be arranged with ACA officers, members or speakers.

E-mail BHeatherington -at- counseling.org for assistance. From March 30 – April 2, contact Brandt onsite in Montreal at 703-307-1574 (cell phone).

The American Counseling Association (http://www.counseling.org) is a nonprofit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world’s largest association exclusively representing more than 44,000 professional counselors across a wide spectrum from school counselors to family counselors, addictions counselors, and many other practice specialties.

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Brandt Heatherington
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