Statement Supporting LGBTQIA+ Students
The American College Counseling Association (ACCA) endorses equality and well-being of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) students, along with its commitment to nondiscrimination and to the prevention of harassment in all forms—verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological—including protections for transgender, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQ+ individuals. ACCA believes all students should be afforded equal learning opportunities, that colleges and universities should provide a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ students, and that harassment and/or bullying based on sexual/romantic orientation and gender identity are serious civil rights violations and have no place in higher education.
At the present time, August 2023, there are legislative efforts in most states (492 across the United States) aimed at decreasing, if not eliminating, many rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals (ACLU, 2023). Here is a link to find out what is happening in your state: Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures | American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org).
In addition to support through counseling services and broader higher education efforts, we wanted to share some ways in which we may further fight for our students in this current climate.
** The note about “as a private citizen” is to protect the work being done at our institutions. For some, this is not an issue. For others, due to public funding sources and other concerns we encourage discretion so as not to draw unwanted attention that may jeopardize the work we are doing on campus to support LGBTQIA+ students.
Amanda Allen, Member-At-Large for Community Colleges
Who We Are
The American College Counseling Association is made up of diverse mental health professionals from the fields of counseling, psychology, and social work. Our common theme is working within higher education settings.
ACCA membership includes professionals and student members who work largely in college counseling settings. There are a growing number of community college counseling professionals who comprise the second largest group within ACCA. Members hold primarily a master’s or doctoral degree with the largest group being master’s level professionals. Counselor educators and Supervisors are also part of ACCA membership.
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ACCA Members in the News
Becca Smith is quoted in the Washington Post article "College mental health centers are swamped. Here's what parents can do."
Andrew Lee is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article on Suicidal Ideation
Steffanie Grrossman is quoted in Online Counseling article College Students Diet and Mental Health
Janelle Johnson comments on the state of mental services at community colleges.
Janelle Johnson on College Counseling” Psychotherapy.net Interview. Follow the link to read the full interview.