The NBCC Foundation was thrilled to see the success of this year’s Bridging the Gap Virtual Summit, presented by Mental Health Academy (MHA). Over 2,250 registrants helped the Foundation raise more than $71,000. All proceeds of this two-day live continuing education event go directly to support the Foundation’s efforts to expand mental health resources to underserved and never-served communities around the world.
One of the many initiatives these proceeds help to fund is the NBCC Foundation Military Scholarships, which provide scholarship funding and professional development opportunities for service members, veterans, and their spouses pursuing a career in professional counseling. 2019 Military Scholar Jesenia Villoldo is grateful for the guidance this program has offered, saying she “believes the mentorship aspect of this scholarship is invaluable. I have had very few mentors in my life, and this has been heaven sent.” Proceeds from the Virtual Summit also help fund the NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarships, providing access for all the Foundation’s scholarship recipients to have a variety of trainings and other professional development opportunities, like attending the Bridging the Gap Symposium.
Isabel Gomez, Vice President of Foundation and Professional Services shares, “These funds will go a long way to ensure that we can continue to provide scholarships and resources to counseling students who are committed to working with underserved populations.”
The theme for this year’s event was “Making Spaces for Unseen Faces,” which is a precursor for the 2021 Bridging the Gap Symposium of the same theme. Presentations highlighted evidence-based and promising practices addressing ways to bridge the gap for those from underserved communities and those who are often marginalized by societal institutions. Some of the presentations addressed those impacted by the trauma of incarceration, Black survivors of sexual trauma, transgender youth, military families, and challenges counselors face providing services virtually and during a global pandemic.
Highlights of the summit included the presentation “Culturally Sensitive Strategies for Counseling Asian American and Pacific Islander Clients Affected by COVID-19 Racial Discrimination” by 2016 Doctoral Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Fellow Dr. Stacey Diane Arañez Litam along with her co-presenter, mentee, and current 2020 MFP Fellow, Claire Tam. Other alumni of the NBCC Foundation’s MFP included Dr. Clark Ausloos, who presented strategies for school and clinical counselors working with transgender youth or working with families of trans* students and trans* youth holding intersecting identities.
After the event, on-demand recordings were made available to registrants through Dec. 13. All attendees can earn continuing education clock hours through NBCC or the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association once the on-demand period ends.
The NBCC Foundation is grateful to Mental Health Academy’s support for making this event possible for the fourth year in a row and to all attendees who are helping to bridge the gap in resources by attending.
If you missed out on this year’s Virtual Summit, stay tuned for more information on the NBCC Foundation’s annual Bridging the Gap Symposium coming late spring 2021. The 2021 Symposium will feature additional programming within the theme of “Making Spaces for Unseen Faces” in a variety of formats, including workshops, keynotes, and panel discussions.