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RIMHCA By-Laws


(Revised December 2020) ARTICLE I. NAME The name of this association shall be the Rhode Island Mental Health Counselors Association , (RIMHCA). This organization is committed to maintaining recognition by the American Mental Health Counselors Association as the state chapter for Rhode Island. ARTICLE II. PURPOSES The purposes of the Rhode Island Mental Health Counselors Association are to:

  • Advance the profession of clinical mental health counselors;

  • Provide a system of information exchange among licensed clinical mental health counselors through educational and/or professional materials;

  • Provide professional development and educational opportunities through conferences, workshops, and other means that assist clinical mental health counselors in updating and enhancing their competencies, and that promote excellence in counseling practice;

  • Promote high standards for the education and training of clinical mental health counselors;

  • Promote scientific research and inquiry into clinical mental health counseling interventions and related professional issues;

  • Promote positive relationships with other professional organizations with similar values concerning the rights of mental and behavioral health consumers, including but not limited to, the right of access to treatment and freedom of choice of provider;

  • Promote visibility and name recognition of our professional identity as clinical mental health counselors within the mental health profession, and within the larger community, and to provide information concerning the role and function of the clinical mental health counselor and the training, competencies, and services provided by members of our discipline;

  • Provide a liaison on the state and national level with other professional groups to assist the advancement of the mental and behavioral health field. ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP Section 1. Types of Membership There shall be four types of membership : Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Mental/Behavioral Healthcare Professional, Professional Associate, and Student. Section 2. Requirements of Membership Eligibility: a. Applicants seeking membership under the “ Licensed Mental Health Counselor” category shall verify possession of a valid Rhode Island state (and surrounding states) license as a Mental Health Counselor. b. Applicants seeking membership under the “ Licensed Mental/Behavioral Healthcare Professional” category shall verify possession of a valid license or certification from a recognized mental and/or behavioral health practitioner’s organization. (examples: LICSW, LCSW, BCBA, LADC, PsyD, LMFT, PhD, NP, PCNS) c. Applicants seeking membership under the “ Professional Associate” category must be currently seeking licensure/certification as referenced in (a) or (b) above, or be someone who is currently retired from the Counseling profession having previously held a license/certification as referenced in (a) or (b) above. d. “Student” members are currently enrolled in a graduate program that prepares graduates to apply for licensure/certification as referenced in (a) or (b) above. Procedure: Any person desiring to become a member of the Association shall make application and shall become a Member of the Association upon: a. certifying that the required professional standards have been met, b. approval of the application, and c. the payment of dues. The specific procedures for implementing this section shall be specified in policy adopted by the Board of Directors. Obligations and Privileges: In addition to maintaining an active license/certification, a member in good standing must pay annual dues to the Rhode Island Mental Health Counselors Association in order to maintain membership Retained Privileges: All privileges of membership shall be retained as long as the member remains in good standing. Reapplication for membership after relinquishing it for whatever reason shall be based on the membership criteria at the time of reapplication. Section 3. Dues Annual association dues for members shall be established by action of the Board of Directors. ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION Section 1. Officers and Board of Directors The officers of this association shall be President, President-Elect, Past-President, Treasurer, and Secretary . They shall comprise the Executive Committee. All Officers must be members in good standing of RIMHCA and hold an active license in RI as an LMHC. The Board of Directors shall include the Executive Committee and other RIMHCA members in good standing. Fifty percent (50%) of this Board, including officers must also be members of the American Mental Health Counselor Association. Section 2. Elections and Terms of Officers Elections: a. Elections will be held each December. The President will appoint a Nomination Committee who will develop a slate of individuals with an identified interest in serving on the Board of Directors and/or as an Officer and have been vetted as an LMHC in good standing. The official ballot will be presented to RIMHCA members via email. b. At least forty (40) days prior to Annual elections, all RIMHCA members in good standing will be notified in writing as to the proposed slate of officers and board members. c. Nominations for candidates for office, beyond those listed on the proposed slate, may be made in writing by any member in good standing. Additional nominations must be received by the Board for voting and final approval no later than the November Board meeting. d. The final slate, including election to a vacant seat, shall require a simple majority of the Board Members present at the time of the vote. The Secretary will confirm the final appointment. Terms of Office: a. All Officers and Board of Directors shall serve a two-year term. The President can only be re-elected once to serve a maximum of 4 years consecutively; all other officers and board members can serve an unlimited number of terms as determined by policy. b. The President-Elect shall succeed to the office of President of the Association on July 1, of the year following the commencement of the term as President-Elect, or upon death or resignation of the President. In the event that the President-Elect should die, resign, or be otherwise unable to continue in the office prior to becoming President, the Board of Directors shall fill the office in a manner to be determined by policy. c. Upon the conclusion of the President’s term of office, they shall continue as a member of the Board of Directors in the office of Past-President for a term of one (1) year. In the event that the Past-President should die, resign, or be otherwise unable to continue in the office, until the conclusion of the term, the Board of Directors shall fill the office in a manner to be determined by policy. d. Except as otherwise provided in this section, vacancies occurring on the Board of Directors during the terms of office of the respective members shall be filled by the Board of Directors in a manner to be determined by policy. Section 3. Powers and Duties of Officers 1. The President shall serve as the presiding officer of the Association, as a member and chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Association. The President shall, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, appoint all special committees and task forces and perform such other duties that are incident to the office, or as may be properly required by vote of the Board of Directors and/or as specified by policy. 2. The President-Elect 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 policy. The President-Elect shall, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, appoint the members of all standing committees. Such appointments shall be presented and approved at the Board of Directors meeting occurring at the annual association meeting, and shall become effective on July 1, of that year. 3. The Past-President shall serve as a member of the Board of Directors and perform such duties as may be directed by the Board of Directors and/or by policy. 4. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining a balanced budget. Deficit spending is prohibited. Each Annual Budget developed by the Treasurer requires the approval of at least two- thirds (2/3) of the Board members present at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors. Monthly treasury reports will be provided to Board Members at Board Meetings. The Board President and/or the Executive Committee must approve all deviations from budgeted line items so long as the expenditure(s) and/or line item deviation is less than $500.00 (five hundred dollars). Any expenditure(s) and/or line item deviation equal to or greater than $500.00 (five hundred dollars) requires a majority vote of the Board of Directors and two signatures on the check. 5. The Secretary shall be responsible for the recording of minutes at all official meetings of the Board of Directors and shall be responsible for the timely distribution of these minutes to all members of the Board. 6. Every member of the Board of Directors shall have assigned liaison responsibilities that will be specified by policy. ● Each Board Member including President, President-Elect, Past-President, will have assigned committee liaison responsibilities that will remain the same for their entire term. ● The President will also serve as liaison to such task forces as may be constituted from time to time. To the fullest extent possible liaison assignments will be made so that they are congruent with officers’ interests, skills, and previous experience. ● The President or their appointee shall serve as representative of the Rhode Island Mental Health Counselors Association at National and Regional meetings. RIMHCA shall fund the designated representative’s expenses where appropriate and when budget realities permit such an expenditure. Section 4. The Board of Directors 1. The Board of Directors shall be the mechanism through which the general administrative and executive functions of the Association are affected. 2. The Board shall be responsible for developing and implementing all policies pursuant to these bylaws. 3. The Board of Directors shall conduct, manage, and control the business of the association. 4. RIMHCA members in good standing wishing to serve as a member of the Board of Directors shall make an application to the Executive Committee or be added to the election slate. Section 5. Meetings 1. The Board of Directors shall meet monthly for 11 months of the year. Meetings at other specified times may be designated by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors. 2. In order to remain a board member in good standing, individuals must attend eighty percent (80%) of the scheduled Board meetings for the year. 3. A simple majority of the members of the Board of Directors present at a regularly scheduled Board meeting shall constitute a quorum. Section 6. Removal from Office An Elected Officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Board of Directors. Reasons for removal from office are: a. Violation of the Ethical Code of AMHCA and/or RIMHCA, other professional code of ethics; OR b. Failure to carry out duties/responsibilities of office, OR c. Failure to remain a member in good standing Removal from office for ethical violations. a. Ethical violations must be dealt with according to procedures detailed in policy relating to such matters. Process of removal from office, for failure to carry out the duties or responsibilities of one’s office is as follows: a. Removals must be initiated in writing by a member of the Association, with two (2) additional letters from members supporting removal from office. b. Written documentation of charges must be presented to the RIMHCA President. In cases where the President is being charged, the Past-President shall receive the written documentation of the charges. c. Notification of the charges must be provided to the officer in question and to the RIMHCA Board of Directors. d. The Board will meet in a closed meeting to make considerations of the issues presented leading to the removal of an officer. e. Attempts will be made to resolve issues through communication channels with the intent of keeping the person in office, if possible. f. Removal from office can occur by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the voting Board of Directors members. g. There will be an opportunity for the accused to respond to charges, either in person or in written form to the Board of Directors. h. Removal from office will not be official until thirty (30) days from the date of action taken by the RIMHCA Board of Directors regarding the charges. i. An appeal process will be available within thirty (30) days from the date of action taken by the RIMHCA Board of Directors regarding the charges. j. The accused member of the Board of Directors will be required to abstain from voting on the issue; the accused officer may also be asked to leave the session in which the issue is considered by the remainder of the Board of Directors. k. If removal of office results, written notice to this effect will be provided to the person charged by the RIMHCA President or Past-President; removal will also be duly be recorded in minutes of the Board of Directors meeting, along with effective date of removal. ARTICLE V. COMMITTEES The committees of the Association shall consist of committees as deemed necessary by the Board. The President shall appoint the chair of such committees. Section 1. Reports Each committee shall report to the Board of Directors the salient activities, financial information, and progress of the committee at monthly Board Meetings. If the committee chairperson and no other member of the committee will be present at a given monthly Board Meeting, a written report must be sent to the President one week prior to the monthly Board Meeting. ARTICLE VI. BUSINESS AFFAIRS OF THE ASSOCIATION Section 1. Fiscal Year The fiscal year shall be from January 1 to December 31. Section 2. Property of the Association In the event the Association should be dissolved, none of its property shall be distributed to any of the members. Instead, all of its property shall be transferred to such organization or organizations as the Board of Directors shall determine to have purposes or activities most aligned with those of the Association, provided, however, such organization or organizations shall be exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding provisions of the Internal Revenue Law. ARTICLE VII. BYLAWS Section 1. Amendment and Adoption These bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors Section 2. Notification of Bylaw Change The Board of Directors of the association must be notified, in writing, at least thirty (30) days prior to the board meeting, of any proposal to add to or amend the Bylaws of the Association. Section 3. Effective Date of Bylaw Amendments At the time of the adoption of the amendment to the bylaws, all amendments shall be effective immediately upon approval unless specifically stated. Section 4. Publication The Bylaws of the Association shall be published in their entirety every five (5) years, beginning with their promulgation. All amendments adopted by the association during an official year shall be printed on a yearly basis and available to any member in good standing, upon request.


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