As a proud sponsor of the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, NBCC has represented the profession of counseling at this forum since 2012 and has been active in advocating for the voice of mental health alongside the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of Social Workers, and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at the National Academies.
The National Academies describe the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education as “an ongoing, convening activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that brings together stakeholders from multiple nations and professions to network, discuss, and illuminate issues within health professional education.” On Nov. 14–15, 2019, the forum held its first workshop fully dedicated to the topic of mental health through the exploration of the social determinants of mental health (SDMH). NBCC was asked to introduce a session titled "Building a Health Workforce to Address SDMH." This was the first time that NBCC was invited to serve on the workshop planning committee.
This session featured a Minority Fellows panel, which was introduced by Dr. Wendi Schweiger, NBCC's Director of International Capacity Building. The objective was to provide background and context for exploring the development of an educational module addressing SDMH across the life span. Minority Fellowship Programs were represented by Robert Horne (NBCC), Duy Nguyen (CSWE), and Dolores Subia BigFoot (APA), who discussed their own histories and present work on behalf of underrepresented persons. Overall, the panel was well received.
“It is always such an honor to have the opportunity to represent the counseling community,” says Schweiger. “I believe that NBCC’s presence at this event demonstrates the increasing recognition of mental health concerns as important to our overall health and well-being. I am looking forward to seeing what this group will continue to accomplish together.”