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April is National Counseling Awareness Month

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April is Counseling Awareness Month (CAM). Created and promoted by the American Counseling Association (ACA) and is sponsored by groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America (MHA). We celebrate CAM to recognize the demanding and vital work of the counselors who tirelessly work to improve the lives they touch. 

This year’s theme, #BurnBrightNotOut, was chosen on behalf of the American Counseling Association to remind counselors that as their inner light shines brightly, they should also remember to take care of themselves emotionally, mentally, and physically in order to prevent the burnout that can occur in the counseling professions. 

CAM 2022 prioritizes three components:

  1. Self-Care The ACA encourages counselors to take care of their minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress to be at their best every day.
  2. Advocacy – The ACA urges everyone who knows a counselor, sees a counselor, or knows someone receiving counseling, to take a moment to recognize the work that they do all year round.
  3. Inclusion – The ACA reminds us that over 665,500 counselors work in various and diverse settings across the nation, from health care to private practice, schools, child service agencies, and more.

Meridian Counselors: Professionals Available When You Need Them 

Meridian is proud to recognize and celebrate our counselors. These gifted and dedicated health professionals work hard to ensure the well-being of the communities Meridian serves. They sincerely care about the people they serve and devote their time to assisting those in their healing and growth so that they can thrive. Counselors work with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, guiding meaningful changes and assisting each individual in navigating difficult life transitions. They provide in-person and telehealth services throughout North Central Florida, meeting you where you are to provide evidence-based treatment. Learn more about working at Meridian.

In honor of Counseling Awareness Month, we spoke with one of our clinicians,

Amy McCaughan, Vice President of Community Mental Health Center (CMHC)

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

When the light in someone’s eye returns because they have learned that they are not alone, even when their feelings lie to them, or when a weight has been lifted because they have learned how to cope with their symptoms and/ or have processed the things that they have experienced and it no longer dictates their future. 

Who has influenced you most when it comes to your work?

Author and researcher Brene’ Brown and author Stasi Eldredge

What qualities do you believe are essential in a counselor?

I believe that several characteristics are required: Empathy, the ability to put oneself in the shoes of another person’s feelings/ perceptions, the ability to speak the truth with care, and the ability not to personalize any reactions in therapy. 

How Can We Participate in Counseling Awareness Month?

If you are receiving counseling or know a counselor, take a moment to thank them and acknowledge their work. A moment of appreciation can go a long way for those working to better the lives of the ones they serve!

If you would like to get more involved in celebrating Counseling Awareness Month, you can contribute on April 21st to Meridian’s Amazing Give campaign.

The Amazing Give is an excellent opportunity to show our community what matters to you! Our region has come together for six years to give more than $5.5 million to our local nonprofits through The Amazing Give hosted by the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. 

This year, contributions to Meridian for The Amazing Give will benefit our Meridian-served children. We are raising funds to ensure that these children have access to resources that aid in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health issues in a timely, effective, and compassionate manner. 

Our children’s programs work to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, inform parents that they are not alone in caring for their children with mental health needs, and connect families throughout North Central Florida with information and services to help their child’s wellness journey. 

Meridian’s counseling services would not be possible without the dedication of our incredible clinicians. Thank you for all of your counseling and guidance to those on their way to wellness.

There is hope if you are struggling with a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder.

Meridian provides high-quality addiction and mental health treatment in their North Central Florida facilities and via telehealth.

Call 352.374.5600 or 800.330.5615 today to make an appointment.

Meridian is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1971. In celebration of its achievements, we will share and host a series of events throughout the year in an effort to share its milestones and challenges of the last 50 years with community members! Stay up to date with us…

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