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CACREP Seeks Counselors for Three Board Positions

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is seeking two counselor educators and one practitioner for board positions beginning July 1, 2012. Although AMHCA members who teach are certainly invited to apply for the counselor education positions, CACREP is particularly interested in getting the word to AMHCA’s clinical mental health counselors about the Practitioner position.

The closing date for applications is Oct. 15. If you have questions about serving on CACREP's board, check out the FAQs, feel free to contact CACREP at 703–535–5990, or email

AMHCA Mentioned Prominently in Washington Post Article

AMHCA was mentioned in a quote from Executive Director and CEO W. Mark Hamilton, PhD, in an Aug. 22 Washington Post article about a new breed of counselors—philosophical counselors. 

The article’s focus was the hope among philosophers that the trend will restore some status to the profession of philosophy. 

The article and quote appeared on page 1 of the Post’s  Style section. Here’s an excerpt from the article that includes the quote that mentions AMHCA:

“Though she works from a home library lined with tomes by Albert Camus, Søren Kierkegaard and Immanuel Kant, [Patricia Anne Murphy, who has a PhD in philosophy] takes clients outside for brisk strolls through her leafy neighborhood because Kant believed that walking helped thinking and was soothing for the soul.

“Of course, such therapy is not for everyone.

“It really depends on the disorder or mental health issue,” said W. Mark Hamilton, director and chief executive of American Mental Health Counselors Association. “I think the fact that [philosophical counselors] are not trained as clinical mental health counselors is a concern. ... For someone with a serious mental issue, they need to see a trained mental health 

Click here to read the Washington Post article, by Emily Wax. To comment on the article, go to AMHCA’s Facebook page

Click here for information about the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, which certifies philosophical counselors.

NIH Announces International Research Initiative

Mental health experts are calling for a greater focus around the world on improving access to care and treatment for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders, as well as increasing discoveries in research that will enable this goal to be met.

The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health Initiative, led by the National Institutes of Health and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, has identified the top 40 barriers to better mental health around the world. Similar to past grand challenges, which focused on infectious diseases and chronic, noncommunicable diseases, this initiative seeks to build a community of funders dedicated to supporting research that will significantly improve the lives of people living with MNS disorders within the next 10 years.

The disorders targeted by the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health—for example, schizophrenia, depression, epilepsy, dementia, and alcohol dependence—collectively account for more years of life lost to poor health, disability, or early death than either cardiovascular disease or cancer. Yet, compared to those types of illnesses, there are far fewer effective treatments or preventive methods. In addition, interventions are not widely available to those who need them most.

An international panel of 422 experts from 60 countries—in fields such as neuroscience, basic behavioral science, mental health services, and epidemiology—identified the top research priorities. After the final round of ranking, the top five challenges identified are:

  • Integrate screening and core packages of services into routine primary health care.
  • Reduce the cost and improve the supply of effective medications.
  • Improve children’s access to evidence-based care by trained health providers in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Provide effective and affordable community-based care and rehabilitation.
  • Strengthen the mental health component in the training of all health care personnel.

These top five challenges were ranked according to the ability to reduce the burden of disease, ability to reduce inequalities in health and health care, length of time until results can be observed, and the ability for the topic to be researched effectively.

Click here for more information.

Promoting Your Practice: The Next Level in Optimizing Your Website

By Sara K. Sims, Director of Business Development,

Ihope that you’ve been using my marketing tips from previous issues of the Advocate and that you now have a rockin’ website, with front-page search results. If you’re not quite there yet, you’ll appreciate this month’s tip, which will take you to the next level in optimizing your website. Here’s what Google and all of the major search engines value the most when deciding the rank of each website: good content. That means websites with relevant information, and information that changes and is updated frequently. 

The Internet is home to millions and millions of websites, but as Internet users know, many websites have outdated information and haven’t been updated in years. If you want your website to show up at the top of search-engine results, then the content on your site must be updated regularly and filled with useful, relevant information. 

Providing articles that relate to your work is an excellent way to spruce up your content. Create a dedicated webpage on your site just for articles. Give a brief description and link to each article, then update them regularly. If you have a TherapySites website, you do not have to add articles to your website, because we do it for you. Our “Hot Topics” page has the latest buzz in the therapy world, with articles taken from Psychology Today. The articles are swapped out monthly, giving your website refreshed content on a regular basis, increasing its chances of showing up on the front page of Google searches without you having to do all the work.

AMHCA has partnered with <> to provide members with websites and online marketing services just for mental health professionals. We are so sure you will like what you find at TherapySites that we are offering AMHCA members a special deal—your first month is free.

I would like to hear from you to answer any questions you may have. Please email me your questions or requests for future topics to

National Depression Screening Day Is Oct. 06

Each year, National Depression Screening Day raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood disorders. 

NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that gives access to a validated screening questionnaire and provides referral information for treatment. More than half a million people each year have been screened for depression since 1991. 

Components of NDSD include both online and in-person screening tools, both of which are available for a fee. Last year alone, more than 2,100 organizations hosted in-person screening events across the country. 

Take a sample online screening, or view the features of customized online screening

To participate this year, register online, or download a PDF of the registration form.