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By-Laws

BY-LAWS

OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS’ ASSOCIATION

A STATE CHAPTER OF

THE AMERICAN MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION

  

 

ARTICLE I: NAME AND PURPOSES

 

Section l. Name

The name of this association shall be the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association.

Section 2. Purposes

The purposes of the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association are as follows:

a.)    Promote the profession of mental health counseling in New Hampshire.

 

b.)    Identify the minimal training standards necessary for mental health counselors.

 

c.)    Provide programs to mental health counselors to assist them in updating and evaluating their competencies.

 

d.)   Provide a system of communication between mental health counselors in New Hampshire through newsletters and other scientific, educational and professional materials.

 

e.)    Collaborate with counselors in other work settings to advance the entire profession.

 

f.)     Educate the public concerning the role and function of the mental health counselor.

 

g.)    Promote equitable licensure, certification, and third party payments for counselors in New Hampshire and nationally.

 

h.)    Encourage scientific research and inquiry into mental health concerns.

 

 

 

ARTICLE II: DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

 

Section l. The NHMHCA does not discriminate on the basis of ableness, age, color, creed, ethnic origin, gender, national origin, race or sexual orientation in the election of its officers, selection of the chairpersons and members of the standing committees.

Section 2. NHMHCA does not discriminate on the basis of ableness, age; color, creed, ethnic origin, gender, national origin, race or sexual orientation in granting rights, privileges, access to programs and activities generally accorded or made available to any member.

 

ARTICLE III: OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION

Section l. Officers

The Officers of the Association shall be the President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary, and the Treasurer. These five officers shall constitute the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Election of Officers

a.)    All Officers of this Association except the President and President-Elect shall be elected at large from among the professional and student membership of the Association. Only actively licensed professional members may be elected President or President-Elect. A person must be a member in good standing for a year before being considered for a position on the Executive Committee.

b.)    The President shall be elected for a two (2) year term to commence July 1.

c.)    The President- Elect shall be elected for a two (2) year term commencing July 1. The President-Elect shall automatically become President on July 1, at the expiration of the term of the President, or upon the death or resignation of the President. In the event that the President-Elect should resign or is unable to meet the obligations for which elected, the Executive Committee shall appoint qualified member(s) to fill the vacancy(ies).

d.)   The outgoing President shall serve for a two (2) year term following expiration of the presidential term, as Past-President.

e.)    The Secretary of the Association shall be elected for a two (2) year term to commence on July l.  No person shall serve as Secretary for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

f.)     The Treasurer of the Association shall be elected for a two (2) year term to commence on July 1.  No person shall serve as Treasurer for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

Section 3: Duties of Officers

The President shall serve as presiding officer of the Association and as a member and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Association. The President shall, with the approval of the Board of Directors, appoint all necessary committees and perform such other duties as are incident to the office, or as may be properly required by vote of the Board of Directors.

a.)    The President-Elect shall serve as an elected member of the Board of Directors, be in training for President and shall perform such duties as may be directed by the Board of Directors and/or the President.

b.)    The Past-President shall serve as a member of the Board of Directors and shall perform such duties as may be directed by the Board of Directors and/or President. The Past-President shall serve as chairperson of the Nominations Committee.

c.)    The Secretary shall serve on the Board of Directors and be responsible for recording all minutes of meetings of the Association and Board of Directors. The Secretary shall be responsible for the timely distribution of these minutes to all Board members. The Secretary shall process all correspondence as required by the Association and keep all records of the current activities of the Association.

d.)   The Treasurer shall serve on the Board of Directors and have custody of all funds and property belonging to the Association. The Treasurer shall keep the financial records of the Association up to date and present a report upon request and at least by-monthly to the President.    The Treasurer will prepare a full financial report for the annual meeting of the Association.

Section 4. Meetings

The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly to review specific matters and to set the agenda of the Board Meetings.  Utilizing new technologies, up to one half of such meetings may occur using conference calling and/or email conferencing and voting.

 

Section 5. Removal from Office

An elected officer or member of the Board of Directors may be removed from office for failure to perform assigned duties. An elected officer or member of the Board of Directors may be removed from office for unexcused absence from three meetings. A two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors shall be required to remove the elected member from the position.

Section 6. Vacancies

In case of a vacancy in the office of the President, the President-Elect shall succeed to the President's unexpired term and continue through the term for which elected. In case of a vacancy through any of the other offices, the Board of Directors shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the next regular election.

 

 

ARTICLE IV: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Section 1. Composition

The President of the NHMHCA shall preside over the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will be composed of the officers and the committee chairpersons of the NHMHCA.

Section 2. Powers and Functions

a.)    The Board of Directors will be the governing body of NHMHCA and its decisions will control the policies and the business functions of the NHMHCA.  The Board of Directors shall not permit any part of the net earning or capitol of the corporation to inure to the benefit of any private individual.

 

b.)    The Board of Directors is responsible only to the membership. The membership of the NHMHCA, at any of its business meetings when a quorum is present may overrule the Board of Directors by a simple majority. A quorum is one-third plus one of the membership.

 

Section 3. Meetings

a.)    The Board of Directors will meet at least by-monthly at the time and place as designated by the President and/or as required by a vote of its members.  Utilizing new technologies, up to one half of such meetings may occur using conference calling and/or email conferencing and voting.

b.)    A simple majority of the Board of Directors will constitute a quorum.

 

 

 

ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES

 

Section 1. Standing Committees.

Standing committees shall consist of no fewer than two members. Chairpersons for the following standing committees of the association will be elected for a two-year term at the annual meeting.

a.) Membership Committee

b.) Publications Committee

c.) Nomination Committee

d.) Professional Development Committee

e.) Legislative Committee

f.) Ethics Committee

 

Section 2.        Committee Descriptions

a.)    Membership.  The membership committee is responsible for the encouragement of membership in the state and national organizations and in making membership analyses as directed by the Board of Directors.

b.)    Publications.  The Publications Committee is responsible for providing the media, the public and Association members with information about issues in Mental Health Counseling and activities of the NHMHCA. In addition this committee is responsible for the publication of a bi-annual newsletter.

c.)    Nominations.  The Nominations Committee (chaired by the Past-President) conducts impartial nomination and election procedures for the election of officers for the Association.

d.)   Professional Development.  The Professional Development Committee is responsible for developing, presenting and organizing programs which provide continuing education units for mental health counselors.

e.)    Legislative Committee.  The Legislative Committee studies legislation affecting mental health counselors, recommends procedures for action which may influence the direction of local and state legislators in the field of mental health, and apprises AMHCA'S national office about local legislation efforts and problems.  The Legislative Committee responds to both state and national legislation needs.

f.)     Ethics Committee.  The Ethics committee is responsible for providing education and information regarding ethical issues for Mental Health Counselors to our membership, other professionals and the general public.

 

Section 3. Reports

Each committee shall report its activities to the Board of Directors at bimonthly meetings. When the committee chairpersons will not be present at a bimonthly meeting, a written report should be sent to the President one week prior to the meeting.

Section 4. Special Committees

Special Committees may be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors to accomplish a special purpose.

 

ARTICLE VI: MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1. Type of Membership

There shall be four types of membership: professional, student, retired and associate. Only professional, student and retired members may vote. Only professional and student members may stand for office.

Section 2. Requirements for Membership

a.)    Eligibility

1.)    Professional Members. Membership is open to anyone who’s work-related responsibilities are in the area of mental health counseling.

2.)    Student Members. Any student at the college level who has interests in the area of mental health counseling shall be eligible to become a member of this Association, with all the privileges of individual membership except to hold the office of President or President-Elect.

3.)    Retired Members. Any former regular member, now retired, who continues to support the purposes of the association. This is a voting membership without eligibility to hold office.

4.)    Associate Members. Any individual who is interested in the educational and professional endeavors of this Association is eligible for Associate membership. This is a non-voting membership and the member may not hold office in the Association.

Section 3. Dues

Annual association dues for members shall be established by action of the Board of Directors and shall be collected through the Treasurer.

Section 4. Rights and Privileges

Voting members shall be limited to professional, student and retired members. Only members who are also members of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) shall be eligible for any office of the Association.

Section 5. Severance of Membership.

a.)    A member shall be dropped from membership for any conduct in violation of the by-laws of the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors Association (NHMHCA), and/or the Code of Ethics of the American Mental Health Counselors Association provided:

1.)    the Board of Directors in compliance with the Ethical Complaints Procedure

(see Article VI, Section 6) has found the member guilty of such conduct and

 

2.)    the Board of Directors recommends temporary suspension from membership.

 

b.)    A member may be dropped from membership for the non-payment of dues.  Such member may reapply for membership and be reinstated upon payment of current dues.

 

Section 6.  Ethical Complaints Procedure

a.)    All complaints about a member of the NHMHCA shall be made in writing to the secretary of the NHMHCA.

b.)    At the next meeting following receipt of the complaint, the Board of Directors will conduct an initial investigation and decide whether to hold a hearing or dismiss the complaint.  Both the member against whom the complaint was made and the complainant will be informed in writing of the Board of Directors’ decision regarding a hearing within 14 days.

c.)    Hearings are to be held by the Board of Directors without delay; both the complainant and the member against whom the complaint was made will be given the opportunity to testify on their own behalf.

d.)   Immediately after the hearing the Board of Directors will deliberate and decide upon the membership status of the member against whom the complaint was made. The Board of Directors will decide upon one of the following actions:

1.)    innocence of the member; dismissal of the complaint;

2.)    a probationary period and sanction;

3.)    a specified period of suspension from membership;

4.)    expulsion from NHMHCA.

 

e.)    The Board of Directors will inform both the complainant and the member against whom the complaint was made in writing of its decision within seven (7) days.

f.)     If deemed appropriate, the NHMHCA reserves the right to exercise its duty/obligation to notify/report its findings to appropriate professional organizations in accordance with the AMHCA Ethical Standards.

g.)    Both the member against whom the complaint was made and the complainant will have the right to appeal the Board of Directors’ decision to the membership of the NHMHCA.  Such appeal will be made in writing to the Secretary of the NHMHCA no later than thirty (30) days after the notification of the decision by the Board of Directors.  The general membership will conduct a special hearing where both the complainant and the member against whom the complaint was made may testify on their own behalf. The decision of the membership meeting will be final.

 

 

 

ARTICLE VII: BUSINESS AFFAIRS

 

Section 1. Fiscal Year

 

The fiscal year of NHMHCA shall be from July I to June 30.

 

Section 2. Expenditure of Funds

 

Funds may be spent only after approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors of the Association.

 

Section 3. NHMHCA Property

 

In the event of the dissolution of the NHMHCA none of its property will be distributed to any of its members. The Board of Directors will transfer all properties of the NHMHCA to a suitable organization, which has purposes and activities most nearly consonant with those of the NHMHCA.  Such transfer will occur in accordance with these by-laws and the NHMHCA Articles of Organization.

 

Section 4. Association Meetings

 

a.)    Annual Meeting: The annual meeting of the Association shall be held on a date in June designated by the Board of Directors.  Due notice of the meeting shall be given in writing at least four weeks in advance to all members of the Association.

 

b.)    Special Meetings: Special meetings of the Association shall be called by the President, upon request by a majority of the full Board of Directors or upon the written request of at least 10 members of the Association in good standing.  The call for any such special meeting shall state the reason for such meeting and shall be rendered fourteen (l4) days prior to the meeting.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII: NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

 

Section 1. Nominations

The nominations committee shall prepare an official slate of nominees for the positions of President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and all committee chairpersons.

a.)    Names for nominations shall be solicited from the general membership prior to the committee's preparation of a slate.

b.)    The slate of officers prepared by the committee shall be circulated among the membership sufficiently in advance to allow for other nominations to be made. The slate shall include information about the individuals' qualifications for the position and history of service to the organization.

Section 2. Elections

All officers of the Association and members of the Board of Directors shall be elected by secret ballot and by a majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting of the Association. In an uncontested election the requirement of secret balloting shall he waived.  Those persons duly elected shall take office at the July meeting of the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Voting

Each office or position shall be nominated and voted upon separately and in succession.

 

ARTICLE IX: BY-LAWS

 

Section l. Amendments

Amendments to these By-laws may be made at the annual meeting if such amendments are approved by two thirds (2/3) of the members voting. Proposals to amend must be submitted in writing to the Board of Directors and published at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

Section 2. Emergencies

In case of emergency, the Board of Directors may submit a proposed amendment to the membership for a mail vote.  Thirty (30) days after mailing the proposed amendment the polls shall be closed and the votes counted by the Executive Committee. If passed by a two thirds (2/3) majority of the members returning ballots, the amendment shall go into effect.

 

 

ARTICLE X: RULES OF ORDER

 

The parliamentary authority for the meetings of the Association will be Robert's Rules of Order, newly revised 1981 Edition (by Henry Martin Robert), as from time to time amended.

 

 

 

 

 

Re-adopted October 29,1988 Approved 1989

 

Revised May 9 1997

Recommended Revisions April 30 1998

Revised June 1998

 

Recommended Revisions May 4, 2004

Approved and Revised June 4, 2004

 

Recommended Revisions May 17, 2005

Approved and Revised June 17, 2005

 

Recommended Revisions May 5, 2009

Approved and Revised June 5, 2009