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AMHCA Publishes Clinical White Papers

The series of four white papers, on topics relevant to current mental health counseling practice, is a new resource exclusively for AMHCA members. These first AMHCA white papers address responding to suicide risk, treating trauma and chronic distress, using technology in counseling, and building your practice.

”AMHCA has just taken a major step forward in promoting professional development for our members and for clinical mental health counseling,” said committee member Gray Otis, PhD, LPC, CCMHC, who is also an AMHCA past president. 

Access all of the white papers listed below (member login required):

  • Understanding Suicide Prevention

This white paper looks at the needs of individuals at-risk for suicide or suicide attempts. Readers are encouraged to pursue the plentiful evidence-based practices and best practices that are reviewed in widely available publications and sites. The white paper includes a list of “Top 10 Things to Know About Suicide Prevention and Intervention.”

  • Treating Trauma and Chronic Distress

Information on effective treatment to help individuals resolve trauma-related memories and feelings. Doing this enables individuals to process underlying self-beliefs, learn how to regulate strong emotions, and establish trusting relationships.

  • Technology-Assisted Counseling

Recommendations for the use of  technology-assisted counseling (TAC) between clinical mental health counselors and clients. TAC can include the use of telephone, videoconferencing, email, chatting, texting, and fax.

  • 9 Ways to Build Your Practice

An AMHCA past president, Tom Ferro, LCPC, offers val-uable guidance on practice-building, from decisions on getting started to developing a niche, from using the power of word of mouth to selecting a billing service, and from giving presentations to taking care of yourself.
AMHCA’s Professional Development Committee, which is responsible for developing the white papers, includes:

  • Chair: Stephen Brady, PhD, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Linda Barclay, PhD, Walsh University, and an AMHCA past president
  • W. Mark Hamilton, PhD, AMHCA executive director & CEO
  • Judith Harrington, PhD, private practice
  • Karen Langer, LMHC, City University of Seattle, current AMHCA past president
  • Keith Mobley, PhD, University of North Carolina Greensboro, and AMHCA’s Southern Region director
  • Gray Otis, PhD, clinical director, The Phoenix Recovery Center & Vanguard Behavioral Health, and an AMHCA past president

Mental Health Coalition Seeks Support for Psychological Impact of Climate Change

The Therapists’ Council for Environmental and Economic Consciousness (T’CEEC) has written an open letter “to bring the psychological effects of climate change and converging issues into focus in our profession.” The group asks for signatures to the letter, which it intends to circulate to professional organizations, publications, government departments, politicians, mental health and social service agencies, and social networks. 

The letter acknowledges “the science-based reality of the human tragedy wrought by the converging crises of global climate change, resource depletion, economic contraction, and environmental destruction” and that these convergent crises expose people not only to physical danger but to “increasing psychological distress.” 

T’CEEC’s six proposals call for, among other things, “immediate convening of a National Congress for Psychological Preparation, including regional representatives of all professional mental healthcare associations and organizations and other informed members of our professions to open dialogue on the design, plan, and implementation of professional responses to this unfolding, great challenge.”

For more information, email, or visit the T’CEEC Facebook page.

National Mental Health Summits Planned

At the National Conference on Mental Health in June, President Obama announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs is directing 151 of its healthcare centers nationwide to conduct Mental Health Summits with community partners, including local government officials, community-based organizations, and Veteran Service Organizations, starting July 1 through September 15. 

The Summits will identify and link community-based resources to support the mental health needs of veterans and their families, as well as help increase awareness of available VA programs and services.

Source: The National Conference on Mental Health. See The Advocate article about the conference.

Search Is Under Way for Editor of AMHCA’s Journal of Mental Health Counseling

The Journal of Mental Health Counseling (JMHC), AMHCA’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal, is opening a search for the position of editor. The position, which will be open July 2014, is for a three-year term, with the possibility of serving two consecutive terms. 

Responsibilities include coordinating the peer-review process, managing correspondence in a timely manner, editing submissions, overseeing the editorial board, and collaborating with the publisher to enhance the journal’s visibility and readership. 

Qualifications include having served as an associate editor for JMHC or having editorial experience that would qualify the applicant for the position of editor. Applicants must also have sufficient understanding of scientific methods, research and publishing ethics, and the discipline of mental health counseling. The successful applicant will begin transitioning into the editor position in fall 2013. 

To apply, please submit a cover letter detailing your vision for the JMHC and vitae electronically to the current JMHC editor, Quinn Pearson, PhD, at Final selection of the new editor will be made by the AMHCA board of directors.

Applications for the JMHC editor position are due Aug. 15, 2013.