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News From AMHCA's CEO
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By W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
AMHCA Executive Director and CEO

Annual Conference in California Is a Big Success

Thanks to our many members who attended AMHCA’s well-received Leadership Training and Annual Conference in San Francisco, the meetings were a great success. In addition to the stellar sessions and speakers, we had a record-breaking number of exhibits and sponsorships. 

To those who were not in California, we hope to see you in Florida next July. My thanks to our national leadership and office staff, who produced the Leadership Training. I know we all found many new friends in California as representatives of 23 state chapters came together for professional networking, an exciting—and chilly—trolley ride over the hills of San Francisco, and dinner by the Bay.

New Practice Standards Are Coming

The new and revised “Standards for the Practice of Clinical Mental Health Counselors” are ready, pending final approval, for release and publication. AMHCA’s thanks for the hard work on the Standards go to Dr. Stephen Brady and the members of AMHCA’s Professional Development Committee. The Standards now join AMHCA’s revised “Code of Ethics” as valuable and updated professional documents available online. 

Branding Challenges Lie Ahead for the Profession of Clincal Mental Health Counseling

With more than 30 years of existence as a professional member association, among AMHCA’s greatest assets is its identity. We highlight AMHCA’s uniqueness in the tagline you often see on AMHCA materials: “The only organization working exclusively for the mental health counseling profession.” Yes, we know who we are and where we need to go. 

As we say in our vision statement, we want, “to be the national organization representing licensed mental health counselors and state chapters with consistent standards of education, training, licensing, practice, advocacy, and ethics.” 

As we continue to strengthen our identity, I urge you to enlist your colleagues to join AMHCA. We all have many organizational choices, but AMHCA is the association “home” for every clinical mental health counselor. We especially value our student members, and show our appreciation with a low student member rate of $74 per year that includes 
high-quality malpractice insurance. 

It is AMHCA that is on the frontline daily working for clinical mental health counselors, whether it is revising our Code of Ethics, updating our Standards of Practice, or lobbying on Capitol Hill. We appreciate your support through your membership, and look forward to continuing to grow our association so we can do even more to advance the profession of mental health counseling.

We Remember 9/11

The date 9/11/2001 represents the point in time when many Americans lost a sense of security within our nation’s borders. One unexpected result of this tragedy was the way in which the public and the news media embraced mental health counseling. For example, after 9/11, the NYPD was mandated to have therapy. 

The stigma of mental illness was reduced by this event, but we must not forget the loss of nearly 3,000 innocent victims and the resulting emotional repercussions, which continue to affect individuals, our government, and our society.