Helping News                                                  Febrary 2013 Issue 55

On January 16, 2013, President Barack Obama released a set of proposals to reduce the impact of gun violence, following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 

In addition to provisions to 
restrict access to certain 
weapons and ammunition, 
the president’s proposal
 includes several initiatives 
to improve school safety and
 increase access to mental 
health services. One of these
includes something that has 
long been recommended by 
the ACA: increasing the 
number of school counselors available to students. The president’s initiative calls for $150 million for helping school districts and law enforcement agencies hire 1,000 new staff, including school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and “school resource officers.” The initiative also calls for $50 million to help train counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other mental health professionals.  

These are only two of the many components of the proposal that could impact school counselors and mental health counselors. The full text of the proposal can be found here, and presidential memoranda issued as part of the initiative can be found here.

The ACA applauds the president’s focus on school safety and climate, as well as mental health access and service delivery.  

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