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NBCCF Bridging the Gap Symposium Visits Washington, D.C.

Published 4/23/2024


The 2024 Bridging the Gap Symposium: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities was held March 15–16, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The 2-day event saw over 450 attendees gather from across the nation to enjoy workshop sessions and three keynotes on this year’s theme, Empowering Voices and Expanding Access

Leading up to the Symposium, the 2023 MFP Fellows and 2023 Supplemental MFP Fellows participated in a day of celebration and training. These trainings were conducted by MFP Advisory Council members, MFP alums, and other professionals in the counseling community. Session topics included mentorship, résumé/CV writing, and advocacy skills. 

Dr. Haner Hernández delivered the pre-Symposium keynote on Thursday evening, while Dr. Carlos Hipolito-Delgado presented the Symposium keynote on Friday and Dr. Jason Branch on Saturday. One attendee stated that they “felt all the keynote speakers brought a lot of perspectives and thought-provoking guidance,” while another expressed how phenomenal they were. 

“I learned something in every session and was gratified to hear from presenters of many different backgrounds and areas of expertise.” With 65 workshop sessions and over 125 presenters, there was no shortage of engaging topics for attendees. Topics ranged from addressing stigmas to using harm-reduction principles to eating disorder treatments. 

A 2023 MFP Fellow expressed that the “general environment is one of the best I've been in. I feel as if I'm in an inclusive place where people share valuable information.” The Foundation is committed to providing diverse training topics and an inclusive environment for all attendees. Meet and greets and engagement meetings for members and allies of various affinity groups and those interested in global capacity building and counseling leadership were scheduled throughout the event. These opportunities ensured a safe space for discussion and networking. 

An exciting addition to the 2024 Symposium was the inaugural NBCC Awards Ceremony. The NBCC Awards honor outstanding individuals who are shaping the future of counseling. These awards were created for counselors, by counselors to recognize individuals who exemplify professional excellence in counseling and whose contributions have significantly helped to expand access to mental health services, strengthen the profession, and promote equity in health and education, advancing counseling and counselors domestically and globally. 

While the 2024 Bridging the Gap Symposium may be over, the Foundation is already planning for 2025. Stay tuned to NBCC Foundation’s newsletter, website, and social media platforms for updates on next year’s event, including the call for presenters.


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