Armenian American Mental Health Association (AAMHA) bylaws
Original: September 5, 2008
Updated: June 2016
Updated: January 2019
Article I – Objective
The Armenian American Mental Health Association (AAMHA) represents professionals of Armenian descent, with MD, Ph.D., or MA/MS degrees in psychiatry; psychology; marriage and family therapy; social work; or other mental health specialties. AAMHA aims at the advancement of mental health knowledge in the Armenian community, and culturally sensitive and appropriate mental health practice, through meetings, professional contacts, research, reports, papers, discussions and publications. It aims at helping the Armenian community with mental health issues, at improving existing mental health services for Armenians and at providing leadership in expanding culturally relevant mental health services to meet the specific needs of the Armenian community. AAMHA also aspires at the establishment and maintenance of the highest standards of professional ethics and conduct in the field of mental health.
Article II – Membership
- Members of the Association shall be persons who are interested in the advancement of mental health from scientific and evidence-based practice perspectives. The requirement for acceptance as a Member shall be the receipt of a medical degree, doctoral degree or a master’s degree in psychiatry, psychology or a related mental health-related field. Students enrolled in doctoral or master’s degree programs in psychiatry, psychology or a related mental health field are also eligible for membership.
- An Affiliate Member category of the Association includes individuals who do not fulfill all aforementioned criteria of membership, but have demonstrated a strong interest/involvement in their academic and work performance in the field of Mental Health. Each individual’s application for Affiliate membership will be reviewed by AAMHA Board, and approved only if the applicant meets the criteria for Affiliate membership.
Article III – Bill of Rights for Members
- All Members, except for Affiliate Members, shall have the right to vote, to hold office, and to secure fair consideration of governance appointment in the Association.
- All Members shall be treated with respect and no discrimination. This does not preclude the Association from carrying out activities or programs that have as their goal the amelioration of conditions that may keep Members from full participation in the Association or its activities and programs.
- Any individual Member or group of Members who believe their rights as Members of the Association, as specified in this Article, or any other rights, have been abridged by the Association’s governance structure(s) or any employee or employees of the Association may present grievance to the governing Board, and be provided a fair hearing under procedures established by the Association’s membership.
Article IV – Officers
- The officers of the Association will be as follows: President; Vice- President; Recording/Correspondence Secretary; Treasurer; and five members. All members of the Board will hold office by election, and by majority vote of the general membership of the Association for a term of two years.
- Officers of the Board shall be selected by the newly elected Board, at the first Board meeting after the elections.
- The President shall be a member of the Association at least two years prior to the elections, and shall be elected for a term of two years, renewable for another term of two years. The President shall serve as the presiding officer of the Association and the Board; shall prepare the agenda for the Board meetings in consultation with the Vice-President and the Secretary; and shall oversee the initiation and completion of all Board decided activities in consultation with the Vice-President. The President shall perform duties prescribed in the Bylaws. The president shall also be considered as the official representative of the Association.
- The Vice-President will assume the responsibilities of the President in his/her absence.
- The Recording/Correspondence Secretary shall be responsible for recording all proceedings of the Board and general membership meetings; presenting them for approval; sending them to Website Chair for archiving; and transferring all documents upon completion of his/her term of office to the new Secretary.
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for all the Association funds. He/she shall have all the checks approved by the Board; keep detailed records of monthly and annual income and expenditures; present a treasurer’s report at monthly Board meetings; oversee the filing of tax forms; and transfer all documents upon completion of his/her term to the new Treasurer.
- If a current Board member resigns, the Board shall select with simple majority of the Board members another member from the general membership to complete the term of the member.
- In order to provide continuity of the mission of the organization, Board membership will be up for election by 4 or 5 on all alternate years.
- Board members will be required to attend at least 70% of scheduled Board meetings in any given year. Teleconference is acceptable for unpredictable situations. After the second absence of a Board member the Secretary shall inform the Board. At that time, the Board shall notify in writing, the Board member of the number of absences, and the requirement for attendance of the Board meetings according to the Bylaws. After the third absence the Board shall make a decision about what action to take, which will be relayed to the Board member in writing.
- The Board can designate Advisors to the Board selected from AAMHA’s Members or Affiliate Members to promote the Association’s functions. Advisors to the Board can attend the Board meetings with no voting privileges. The Advisors can counsel the Board and provide assistance to any of its standing committees.
Article V – Nominations and Elections
- Nominations by the election committee shall be done prior to the month of June.
- The election shall be conducted in the month of June at the general meeting of the Association.
- All Board members shall be elected for a two-year term by secret ballot majority vote of the Members of the Association.
Article VI – Standing Committees
The Association shall have four standing committees. Each of the committees shall be chaired and organized by a Board member. The members of these committees shall be volunteers from the Board as well as the general and Affiliate membership. All committee events shall be submitted to the Board for approval.
- Membership/Outreach Committee – This committee shall be responsible for spreading information about AAMHA and its mission; promoting programs; recruiting new members; keeping members regularly informed about the activities of the Association through personal contacts; processing all new membership applications to determine AAMHA’s established eligibility requirements; and processing yearly membership renewals in a timely manner.
- Education/Program Committee – This committee shall organize, train and maintain educational activities for the members of the Association, as well as for the Armenian American community at large. It shall focus its efforts primarily on issues that have an effect on the Armenian American community’s mental and emotional health, and adaptation to the mainstream culture. It shall develop and implement a variety of educational events for the membership; the Armenian community; or both; which will include but not limited to conferences; workshops; retreats; TV shows; health fairs and other events related to mental health. Topics, locations, and other details of the above-mentioned events shall be organized by the Education/Program Committee, and presented to the Board for approval.
- Social Committee – This committee shall plan, organize and implement social events for the members to network and to get to know each other. Its main goal is to create opportunities for the members to be informed about the goals and objectives of the organization. This committee shall also coordinate sponsors for the events and seek donations for the continuation of the Association’s educational mission.
- Website Committee – This committee shall update website and social media platforms with all relevant Association information; keep an active record of individual (member and non-member) names, e-mails and other information deemed necessary for dissemination of Association information via mass e-mailing platform; be responsible for all non-member e-mail correspondence/communication in inbox; and archive minutes/notes/agenda and other important documents.
Article VII – Partnerships and Affiliations
The Board and the general membership may establish partnerships and affiliations with national, international scientific organizations, and other organizations serving the Armenian community. Such partnerships and affiliations shall be terminated by the approval of the membership when they are no longer of interest to the Association.
Article VIII – Publications
Association records, reports, proceedings or minutes of meetings shall become public only with the approval of the Board. The Association shall develop a web site for the Membership and the Armenian community, in order to disseminate information about the Association. Selected pages on the website may be password protected and available only to the membership.
Article IX – Annual Reports
A detailed report of annual activities of the Board shall be presented to the general Membership annually, at the last meeting of the year, by the President, Treasurer, as well as the chairs of the Education/Program, Membership/Outreach, Website, and Social Committees. These reports shall be archived by the current secretary.
Article X – Membership Dues
There shall be a designated fee required for membership in the Association. The fee shall be determined by the Board. Non-payment of fees shall automatically terminate the membership in the Association.
Article XI – Amendments
Amendments to any of the Articles of the Bylaws shall be with two-thirds of the vote of the Members present at a special meeting called by the Board, or by e-mail.