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By Chantrelle Varnado–Johnson 
University of New Orleans Counselor Education Program.


“The great challenge is to prepare ourselves to enter these doors of opportunity.” 
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Louisiana Mental Health Counselors Association (LMHCA) encourages and recognizes the importance of students’ inputs as they prepare to meet the mental health demands of our nation as professionals. A state chapter of AMHCA and a division of the Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA), LMHCA was formed to provide a voice for mental health counselors, while also promoting the profession of mental health counseling in Louisiana. 

During the past year, LMHCA organized a working board of directors, launched a LMHCA forum website, increased membership participation on a LMHCA blog site, and used treasury funds and budget to promote our profession and protect the public. In addition, LMHCA recruited committee members to represent each of the regions of Louisiana to help LMHCA reach all of its goals.

As LMHCA’s secretary of treasury, I have had the opportunity for professional development and leadership, including attending the annual LCA conference as well as the 2011 ACA conference. I also had the pleasure of chairing a committee to represent the Greater New Orleans area, and receive mentorship from current LMHCA board members and past presidents. I have also had opportunities for networking with allied professionals, counselor educators, supervisors, practitioners, and fellow counseling students.

As a graduate student, I am aware of the challenges that students face in considering how to find time to devote to professional organizations. Personally, I use LMHCA as a resource to garner experience in my career as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Even more importantly, LMHCA has kept me abreast of legislation changes in LPC law, and LMHCA provides contact with leaders in the mental health field. 

As I develop my skills and advance my career, participating in LMHCA gives me the courage to stand up for my profession in addition to giving me the opportunity to collaborate with graduate students and mental health professionals.

Please Contribute to the Graduate Student Silent Auction

By Sharon Cyrus-Savary
GSC chair

At this year’s Annual Conference in San Francisco in July, the Graduate Student Committee (GSC) will be raising funds. Thanks for your donations over the past two years, and thanks in advance for your support this year. 

The GSC is seeking charitable donations of goods or services, including but not limited to: laptop or notebook computers, trips, regional or national spa and salon services, regional or national restaurant gift cards, and gift cards to regional or national bookstores. 

If you would like to make a donation to the raffle, OR if you have a contact person within a company whose contact information you would be willing to share with the GSC chair, please contact Sharon Cyrus–Savary, GCS chair, at . Any assistance you can offer the GSC will make this an even more successful endeavor! 

We’re looking forward to seeing you in July! Click here for more information about the conference or to register online at AMHCA’s website.

Attention Graduate Students!
  • Do you like to be involved?
  • Are you excited about the counseling field?
  • Do you want to get your voice heard even more and be a part of supporting students just like you?

If so, AMHCA’s Graduate Student Committee is looking for you! Positions that will be open in July include chair-elect, secretary, and liaisons for each of the four national regions. For more information about the positions, contact GSC Chair Sharon Cyrus–Savary.