Past President's Letter
As my term as President has come to an end I will now begin my final two years in the position of Past President. I would like to share the events of the past year as well as discussions we are having that may impact the future of the organization and the profession of Mental Health Counselors state and perhaps even nationwide.
The New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association (NHMHCA) is a chapter of the much larger, national organization, the American Mental Health Counselors’ Association (AMHCA). There have been several things we have worked towards, and in many cases, with much success, at the state level for instance, grow membership, mentor graduate students who plan to obtain licensure, work on a more effective and user-friendly way to disseminate information to our members, increased involvement in legislative initiatives and collaboration with other guild, and to continue to provide quality workshops, such as the one offered today. The NHMHCA Board of Directors, when at full capacity, is comprised of 12 chair positions and numerous committee positions. These positions are all volunteer positions however, the experience of having served on the board, networking and collaborating with colleagues is an invaluable experience. It is unfortunate that the Board quite frequently, has multiple open positions at any given time. Something that I had hoped to accomplish during my presidency, and will continue to work towards as Past President, is a way for us to hold virtual board meetings thereby affording an opportunity for individuals to get involved despite their work schedule or being located in a more remote area of the state.
The AMHCA, our parent organization, has tasked itself with fostering a closer, more collaborative relationship with the state chapters. I have had the pleasure of attending several leadership workshops at the AMHCA Annual Conference over the years. During these workshops I have had the opportunity to work with other chapter leaders from across the country and we have shared experiences, ideas and knowledge of how to improve or enhance our own state chapters. As an organization we advocate for common goals such as Medicare Reimbursement and consistency among states regarding licensure standards thereby promoting portability between states. New Hampshire is fortunate in the fact that the upcoming President for the AMHCA is one of our Past Presidents, Dr. H Alan Goodman, LCMHC and Licensed Psychologist. In addition, while acting as Past President for the NHMHCA I will also be serving as the North Atlantic Regional Director for the AMHCA. I, along with Dr. Goodman, would like to encourage members of the NHMHCA to take advantage of the close relationship we now have between our state chapter and the national organization. We are faced with an opportunity for great change not only in how we operate as an organization but how we effect growth and change within our profession.
Ellen V. A. Papanikolaou, LCMHC, MLADC
North Atlantic Regional Director, AMHCA