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The NBCC Foundation (NBCCF) is accepting proposals from individuals interested in presenting at its 2023 Bridging the Gap Symposium: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities, to be held June 2–4, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme for the Symposium is From Awareness to Action, with an emphasis on counseling skills, research, and resources that progress counseling practices and counselor education toward actionable change to address the mental health–related inequities and disparities faced by individuals and communities.

We welcome submissions from presenters who can provide creative and unique presentations that highlight evidence-based and culturally relevant practices or research addressing ways to serve and bridge the gap for: underserved communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals). Presenters are expected to include or cultivate with attendees action-oriented applications to implement lessons learned in their sessions.

Category Descriptions:

  1. Implementation of Trauma-Informed Care – Topics that increase awareness of action-oriented and culturally relevant research and application of trauma-informed care for underserved clients and communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals).
  2. Expanding Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents – Topics that increase awareness of disparities in care while demonstrating action-oriented and culturally relevant research and clinical practice for promoting optimal mental health and wellness for child and adolescent development. Focus must be on serving underserved clients and communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals).
  3. Strengthening the Profession Through Leadership and Advocacy – Topics that increase awareness and demonstrate the significance of action-oriented counselor leadership, advocacy, and political engagement for issues that impact underserved clients and communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals).
  4. Underserved Clients and Societal Institutions – Topics that increase awareness and understanding of racism, discrimination, and other societal or systemic barriers to care in educational, governmental, religious, health care, occupational, and other societal institutions. Presentation must increase awareness and understanding of serving underserved clients and communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals).
  5. Decolonizing the Counseling Profession – Topics that increase awareness of action oriented and culturally relevant strategies and interventions to in the research, leadership, and practice of counseling, with a specific focus on unique needs and experiences of underserved clients and communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals).
  6. Treatment of Substance Use and Addiction in Underserved Communities – Topics that increase awareness of action-oriented research and evidence-based practices in culturally relevant treatment of substance use disorder and addiction in serving underserved clients and communities (including underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, children, veterans, the elderly, military or rural populations, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals).

Proposal and Policy Guidelines:

Proposals to present must contain and convey sufficient detail to allow NBCCF’s Symposium Planning Committee to understand how the proposed presentation will contribute to the Symposium objectives. Selection is competitive, so you must submit a compelling and complete proposal.

  • Persons presenting at the Symposium are expected to use material and language that does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, and/or sexual orientation.
  • If your proposal is selected, NBCCF reserves the right, with your consent, to revise presentation titles and/or edit the program summary for promotional and program materials. Please note the word/character limit as described below. NBCCF will adjust bios, titles, descriptions, and objectives that do not meet this requirement.
  • Biography – 250 words
  • Presentation Title – 100 characters
  • Description and Objectives (combined) – 250 words
  • NBCCF follows the style guide set forth by NBCC and Affiliates, and any edits necessary to conform with these requirements will be made.
  • NBCCF reserves the right to cancel a presentation based on noncompliance at any point. This includes, but is not limited to, failure to register for the Symposium by the due date, failure to return required documents by the due date (e.g., agreement, presentation materials, bios, photos), or failure to make presenter changes by the due date.

No more than two proposals from one speaker will be considered. Please complete a separate application for each proposal.

Presentation Types:
Presentations should be highly interactive, collaborative, and show the application of the outcomes of a research project or share findings on the implementation of effective, evidence-based practices. There are three presentation lengths: 90 minutes, 60 minutes, and 45 minutes.

  • 90-minute Workshop Presentation: The 90-minute education sessions will be a standard workshop format consisting of a presentation and brief Q&A session.
  • 60-minute Workshop Presentation: The 60-minute education sessions will be a standard workshop format consisting of a presentation and brief Q&A session.
  • 45-minute Discussion Session: These sessions are intended to be discussions in which participants discuss and learn more about the topic posed by the presenter. The framework is as follows: presenter will facilitate a brief introduction to the topic, set a context for the discussion, and facilitate a conversation around questions that the participants have or those posed by the presenter. The facilitated session will last for approximately 45 minutes (maximum of a 30-minute presentation/15-minute discussion).

Presenter Benefits Provided by NBCCF:

  • Presenters (including co-presenters) receive a complimentary Symposium registration, including admission to the pre-Symposium events, concurrent presentations, and networking events as applicable.
  • Presenters will receive a copy of their attendees’ evaluation report summary with presentation ratings and feedback after the Symposium.
  • NBCCF does not pay an honorarium or expenses for presenting at the Symposium, but we hope that the benefits of being a part of our programming and sharing expertise with an emerging group of mental health counselors make the effort worthwhile for presenters.

Call for Presenter Proposal Evaluation:

Proposals are evaluated objectively with consideration of the following criteria:

  • degree to which the proposed presentation meets the Symposium/program objectives
  • presenter’s presentation skills and experience
  • desirability of the topic
  • clarity of learning objectives
  • overall clarity of proposal

Evaluation timeline/schedule:

  • Sept. 1–Oct. 31, 2022: Submission period open.
  • Nov. 1–Dec. 2, 2022: Proposals reviewed.
  • Dec. 15, 2022: Presenters notified if proposal has been accepted.

Other Speaker Requirements:

  • Acknowledge availability to speak during any time frame of the event and do not request a change to the presentation time frame assigned, if selected.
  • Work closely with event programming department and meet all deadlines.
  • Design and provide high-quality PowerPoint, Prezi, or other similar presentations, in electronic format, by the deadline given.
  • Recognize that a presentation is an opportunity to share information and is not a showcase for promotion of business, practice, service, or product.
  • Acknowledge that although this event is being planned as an in-person event, circumstances may require the event to be delivered in a virtual format. Please take this into consideration when answering the question(s) related to adapting your presentation to a virtual format.
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