“42.5 million adults and 17.1 million children in the US

experience mental health and addiction disorders”

 

Thank you for visiting this site and contributing to support mental health and addiction awareness and treatment in the US and abroad. CounselingAroundAmerica is not a business or an organization, it is an event that includes a 10,000 mile motorcycle ride to raise funds for 3 non-profit mental health and/or addiction related counseling organizations. The ride circles the United States and is based on the USA 4 Corners Motorcycle Tour which is coordinated by the Southern California Motorcycling Association. This event was created to draw attention to the 42.5 million adults and 17.1 million children in the US who experience mental health and addiction disorders and to help connect members of underserved and non-served communities with professional counselors. In addition CounselingAroundAmerica seeks to bring attention to the estimated 450 million people world-wide who experience mental health and addiction disorders.

 

The CounselingAroundAmerica event and its gofundme campaign (Support Counseling Around America) were established to: 1) bring attention to disparities in mental health and addiction awareness and treatment; 2) connect counselors with clients in underserved communities and populations who may not have readily available access to mental health and addiction services; and 3) provide everyone an opportunity to financially support non-profit organizations that promote, support, and/or train mental health and addiction counselors who serve members of underserved communities and populations.

 

Over 59 million people struggle with mental health and/or addiction disorders, however,  approximately 40% do not receive any treatment. Four of the primary reasons people cite for not engaging in mental health and addiction services are: 1) no health coverage and/or could not afford treatment; 2) did not know where to go for treatment; 3) health coverage did not cover mental health and/or addiction treatment; and 4) lack of transportation to treatment services. However, an additional reason that many people with mental health and/or addiction disorders do not receive treatment is related to the stigma many individuals and cultures attach to mental health and addiction disorders and treatment services. My hope is that by participating in the USA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour, circling the continental USA solo on my motorcycle, and visiting with counselors and members of underserved communities and populations along the way, I can help people better understand the importance of mental health and addiction awareness and treatment.

 

USA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour Route

 

I initially thought one of the best ways to bring attention to mental health and addiction awareness and treatment disparities was to travel the country meeting and talking to people along the way. Then I thought an even better way would be to do it on my motorcycle, taking pictures, and journaling/blogging my adventure along the way. As an avid and passionate motorcyclist, who is always looking for that next patch to sew on my motorcycle vest I thought, “Hey if I am going to do this I might as well earn a new patch along the way”. Since I was already planning a cross-country ride for summer 2017, I thought I would take one of America’s best known motorcycle challenges, the USA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour.

 

The USA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour is a long distance motorcycle ride that includes visiting the four corner cities of the United States (Madawaska, ME; Blaine, WA; San Ysidro, CA; and  Key West, FL) within a 21 day time limit. Fewer than 100 motorcyclists a year complete this 8,000 mile ride. In addition to the 8,000 miles from the 1st corner to the 4th corner city there is also the mileage from the rider’s home city to the first corner city and from the 4th corner city back to the rider’s home. The time spent going to the 1st corner city and returning home from the 4th corner city are outside of the 21 day challenge period. In my case this is an additional 2,000 miles for a total of 10,000 miles not counting side trips, and what respectable motorcycle enthusiast does not a take a few side trips <smile>.  Overall, I expect to cover between 10,000 and 12, 000 miles between  the time I leave home on June 30th and return home on July 29th, 2017.

 

 

The Mental Health and Addiction Charities 

         Only you can make this a successful event. The goal is to raise $30,000 to support nonprofit organizations and institutions that promote, counsel, research, and/or provide mental health and addiction awareness and treatment services to members of underserved and non-served communities. Funds raised during the CounselingAroundAmerica event and its gofundme campaign (Support Counseling Around America) will be donated to the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation, North Carolina Central University’s Counselor Education Foundation/Addiction Studies Certificate Program, and the Uganda Counseling Association.

 

The Charities

National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation

The mission of the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCCF) is to improve the mental health of the underserved and never-served throughout the world, the NBCC Foundation leverages the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. Its primary objectives are to increase the number of counselors and Mental Health Facilitators working with high-priority populations and to engage them in becoming innovators of counseling practices that benefit the underserved.

North Carolina Central University Foundation/Addiction Studies Certificate Program

North Carolina Central University’s Counselor Education Addiction Studies Certificate Program (ASCP) official development began in January 2015. On February 4th, 2016 the Counselor Education Program at NCCU was accredited as a Criteria “C” Substance Abuse School by the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB). The Criteria “C” Substance Abuse School classification is the gold standard in addiction training programs in North Carolina. North Carolina Central University Counselor Education Addiction Studies Certificate Program (ASCP) include: 1) preparing counseling students, counselors, and qualified helping professionals to work as addiction professionals; 2)

Uganda Counselling Association

Founded in 2002, the Uganda Counselling Association (UCA) is a nonprofit organization that brings together professional counsellors and other professionals that use counselling in their work. UCA promotes ethical and competent counselling through regulating the practice, providing a forum for networking and ensuring professional development of the counsellors and counselling in Uganda. UCA’s objective’s include: 1) promoting learning and sharing about the value, benefits and availability of counselling; 2) advocating for a healthy psychosocial environments that promote people’s well-being; and 3) enhancing collaboration and networking among professional institutions, private practitioners and organisations offering training and counselling services.

Blog

I will be hitting the road and begin posting pictures of the ride on June 30, 2017. Until then please tweet, snap, pin, and link your friends and family the Counseling Around America homepage http://counselingaroundamerica.com/ and the Support Counseling Around America gofundme page https://www.gofundme.com/counseling-around-america?ssid=988289956&pos=1

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