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Report of the Executive Director & CEO
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By W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
Report of the Executive Director & CEO

As always, I want to start my column in this issue by wishing a Happy New Year to all AMHCA members and Advocate readers! Your professional headquarters staff continues to explore and embrace ways to enhance the mental health counseling profession and your valued membership with AMHCA. 

Even in difficult economic times like the ones we are going through now, we strive to deliver a high value for each and every AMHCA membership. Thank you for continuing to support the only organization devoted exclusively to mental health counselors.

More Social Media

In addition to our Group Sites platform for AMHCA’s four regions (Midwest, North Atlantic, Southern, and Western), we have recently launched Facebook. I encourage you to go to the AMHCA homepage and click on the Facebook button. We look forward to seeing our leadership and membership using Facebook as an effective and rewarding communications tool for keeping in touch with each other and with the news that affects your profession. 

The younger segment of our membership especially appreciates the numerous ways AMHCA has moved our communications onto electronic platforms. For example, switching our monthly newsletter, The Advocate, from a print to an electronic publication, which took place a little more than a year ago, has proven especially popular with our younger membership and student members.

More AMHCA Members

I am pleased to report that our membership numbers have begun to again climb again, after a few static months. As economic conditions slowly improve, I anticipate even more membership growth.

We are especially excited to see the student membership rise, and we congratulate the members of AMHCA’s Graduate Student Committee for its productive efforts. AMHCA offers students a bargain membership—including no-charge professional liability insurance and reduced costs for AMHCA products and services. Click here for information about the numerous student benefits AMHCA offers.

Come to any AMHCA function and you will see that students are playing a greater role in AMHCA and attending the Annual Conference in larger numbers each year.

More New Opportunities

As always, considerable planning and effort is now being directed to our Annual Leadership Training and Annual Conference. We all look forward to convening the 2011 conference and training in San Francisco and enjoying the great state of California. Part of the focus of the meeting will be celebrating the achievement of counselor licensure in California and the fact that counselors are licensed now in every state. The other concentration will be sessions related to the conference theme, “The Power of Partnerships: Effective Pathways to Mental Health.” 

Our conference hotel, the Parc 55 Wyndham, is located in the heart of San Francisco on Union Square, within steps of marvelous restaurants and world-class shopping. We know you will find it stimulating to visit “The City on the Bay,” a favorite destination for people across the globe. 

Your national office professional staff and outside consultants have always worked hard for AMHCA, but especially in recent years we have been placing a premium on “working smarter.” Currently we are in the process of updating our workstation hardware and software. We have tightened our delivery schedules so that you can receive your AMHCA services and products in an even more timely manner. AMCHA has always prided itself on being “member friendly,” and we are conscious of keeping that moniker with every improvement we make in our services to our valued membership.

I want to draw your attention to our latest online CE program,, which offers a variety of courses online for continuing education credit. Check it out!.

Like to Visit Cuba?

Sign up now to be part of the AMHCA delegation that will be visiting Cuba from May 22–27, to study mental health services both in com-munity and institutional settings. Travel to Cuba is currently highly restricted and AMHCA is offering a unique opportunity to visit this beautiful island nation. 

The AMHCA delegation will depart from Miami on May 22. We will be based in Havana, Cuba, where we will be briefed by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. For more information or to register for the trip, go to , and click on the “Travel to Cuba with AMHCA” link.(See also the article about the trip in this issue.)

A very Happy New Year to you from all of us at AMHCA!