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NBCC Initiatives for Service Members, Veterans and Families
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is committed to supporting service members, veterans and their families, and ensuring their access to qualified mental health counselors. NBCC pursues numerous legislative and advocacy priorities for this purpose, as well as its own programs.
The White House’s Joining Forces Initiative was created in April 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the vice president. The purpose of the initiative is to mobilize all sectors of society to support and honor service members, veterans and their families. NBCC has been an active and involved partner in Joining Forces since its inception.
Joining Forces focuses on improving employment, education and wellness of service members, veterans and their families, while also raising awareness of the challenges they face. NBCC is a partner in the wellness group, along with many prominent organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and most medical societies, the American Nurses Association (ANA), and the core mental health professional associations. NBCC participates in conference calls routinely held by Joining Forces to provide updates on organizational activities.
NBCC has attended several meetings at the White House in support of the Joining Forces Initiative and is an ongoing partner in the effort to improve behavioral health services for service members, veterans and their families.
The NBCC Board of Directors has pledged to make training and education in culturally and clinically appropriate care for service members, veterans and their families available to all of the more than 62,000 National Certified Counselors (NCCs).
February 2014—NBCC has called on all NBCC Approved Continuing Education Providers to help NBCC fulfill the Board of Directors’ pledge to make specialized continuing education available to NCCs. Look for the icons in the ACEP directory highlighting those ACEPs that have joined NBCC in this commitment.
ACEPs committing to participate with NBCC and the Joining Forces initiative sign a pledge to do two or more of the following:
- Offer programs to increase awareness about military culture and the mental health needs of service members, veterans and their families;
- Offer programs on evidence-based treatments that have proven effective when working with issues that are prominent with service members, veterans and their families, including but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, secondary stress, trauma, survivor guilt, grief and addiction, as well as family issues such as abandonment, anxiety, grief and domestic violence;
- Provide resources to schools and universities regarding the mental health needs of service members, veterans and their families;
- Offer discounts for programs specific to helping train counselors on the mental health needs of service members, veterans and their families; and
- Offer tangible and user-friendly resources for counselors to aid their clients with military-related mental health concerns.