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News from AMHCA's CEO
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By W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
AMHCA Executive Director & CEO


New Look for the Journal

Beginning with the January 2012 issue, AMHCA’s Journal of Mental Health 
Counseling (JMHC)
 will have a new, updated cover design, after many years with the same deep-blue colored cover. AMHCA’s journal, a 33-year-old, peer-reviewed, professional publication, is published quarterly and is a free benefit of AMHCA membership. The journal continues to enjoy a strong reputation and has a large volume of university library subscribers around the globe. 

Since last July, the journal has been under the new editorship of Quinn Pearson, PhD, LPC, at the University of North Alabama. Pearson succeeds James R. Rogers, PhD, of the University of Akron. 

The July issue of the journal this year will be a special issue on “Mindfulness Approaches in Mental Health Counseling.” The special guest editor of the issue on mindfulness is Richard F. Ponton, PhD, director of human services, Township of Ocean, N.J.

Online Voting Coming in 2012

As many other national professional associations have done, AMHCA is moving to online voting this year for our annual election of officers for AMHCA’s board of directors. This year, the open positions on the board are president-elect, North Atlantic Regional director, and Southern Regional director. Look for goal statements from the candidates in the February issue of The Advocate.

In the past, all ballots for the election have been printed and mailed to eligible voting members of AMHCA. This year we have moved to an electronic, Web-based system not only because our membership has requested it, but because electronic voting will save time and help AMHCA further its goal to “go green,” in addition to being more cost-effective.

Recent election data show that voter participation increases with online voting compared with printed ballots sent through the mail. To accommodate AMHCA members who do not choose to use the online voting system, however, we will provide them with printed ballots.

Additional information will be available about the online voting process as we approach the 2012 election, which takes place in the spring.

Diplomate in Clinical Mental Health

We are excited about the launch this year of the new certification available to AMHCA members: Diplomate in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling Specialist. 

The Diplomate recognizes AMHCA members who have achieved substantial professional accomplishments. Holding the Diplomate will demonstrate clinical mental health counselor proficiency beyond the level required for licensing, with verifiable competence. It will also demonstrate expertise in one or more areas of specialization. 

The Diplomate will not only recognize clinical mental health counselors with advanced practice credentials; it will further our status as specialists. 

In the February issue, look for an article by AMHCA President Gray Otis, PhD, LPC, CCMHC, about the application process for those who wish to earn this professional achievement.

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