NBCC’s government advocacy for the counseling profession has achieved major successes in recent years, but we can’t take all the credit. The grassroots work of counselors and mental health proponents is vital to the progress that is made. Communication from constituents carries significant weight for legislators. Even once a bill becomes law, effective and timely implementation by federal agencies benefits greatly from informed input from stakeholders like you.
Grassroots advocacy means real people making their voices heard, raising awareness, and educating policymakers. As an NCC, you can offer unique insights to help your congresspeople and other public servants make informed decisions when it comes to issues facing the counseling profession. If lack of Medicare coverage has negatively affected your clients or practice, your story may be exactly what it takes to convince a legislator to cosponsor or vote for the Mental Health Access Improvement Act. And that legislator’s support might even be the tipping point to make it a law.
If you are ready to join our grassroots advocacy, visit the Grassroots Movement page to get started. Our Action Center makes it easy by providing tools to conveniently, quickly, and effectively contact your senators and House representative about the issues that matter to you. Sign up for our Counselor Advocacy Network to stay informed and stay involved. Our Guide to Advocacy Communication provides helpful tips for getting the most from your contact, both in text and on the phone.
Members of the Counselor Advocacy Network receive updates and calls to action and participate only at their level of comfort and availability. Grassroots leaders take a more substantial role and help to organize efforts in their geographic area or on specific issues. Whether it’s an occasional email or organizing a visit to the Capitol, your involvement can make a difference.
You don’t need to be an expert on the legislative process or the intricacies of federal agencies—that’s the job of congressional staff. However, even experienced health care staffers can’t be experts on every issue and every profession. As an NCC, you can offer expert advice about the counseling profession, as well as your personal insights into how lack of counselor recognition in federal programs and agencies creates a barrier to mental health care access.
We hope you will join our efforts and make your voice heard.