Armenian American Mental Health Association (AAMHA) bylaws

Original: September 5, 2008

Updated: June 2016

Article I – Objective

The Armenian American Mental Health Association (AAMHA) represents individuals of Armenian descent in psychiatry, psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work and other providers of mental health services. It aims at the advancement of mental health as a professional practice and the dissemination of psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, research, reports, papers, discussions and publications. It aspires at the establishment and maintenance of the highest standards of professional ethics and conduct in the field of mental health. It also aims at helping the Armenian community with its 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 needs of the Armenian community.

Article II – Membership

1. Members of the Association shall be persons who are interested in the advancement of psychology as a science and as a profession. 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 field, an enrolled student in a doctoral or master’s degree program in Psychiatry, Psychology or a related field, receipt of a bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a related field and practice in the field of mental health.

2. The requirement for acceptance as a Member shall also include the receipt of a medical degree, doctoral degree, master’s or bachelor’s degree in psychiatry, Psychology, or a related field and are teaching in University, school or are counseling students.

Article III – Bill of Rights for Members

1. All Members shall have the right to vote, to hold office, and to secure fair consideration of governance appointment in the Association.

2. 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.

3. Any individual Member or group of individual Members who believe their rights as Members of the Association, as specified in this Article, or any other rights, have been abridged by action taken of the Association’s governance structure 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

1. The officers of the Association will be as follows: a President/Chairperson, Vice- President, a Recording and Correspondence Secretary, a Treasurer, and five advisory members. All members of the Board will hold office by election of majority vote of the general membership of the Association for a term of two years.

2. All officers of the Board shall be selected by the Board at the first Board meeting after the elections.

3. The President/Chairperson shall be a member of at least two years and shall be elected for a term of two years, renewable for another term. The President/Chairperson 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 completion of all Board decided activities in consultation with the Vice-President. The President/Chairperson shall perform duties prescribed in the Bylaws and as properly required by vote of the Association.

4. The Vice-President will assume the responsibilities of the President/Chairperson in his/her absence.

5. The Recording and Correspondence Secretary shall be responsible for recording all the proceedings of the Board and general membership meetings and presenting them for approval, shall keep a record of the membership with their names, addresses, e-mails and other information deemed necessary, shall be responsible for all correspondence of the Association and shall transfer all documents on completion of the term to the new Secretary.

6. The Treasurer shall be responsible for all the Association funds, shall have all the checks approved by Board, shall keep detailed record of income and expenditures, shall present the treasurer’s report at the monthly Board meetings and shall transfer all documents on completion of the term to the new Treasurer, and shall oversee the filing of tax forms.

7. If a current Board member resigns, the Board shall select with simple majority another member from the general membership to complete the term of the former member.

8. 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.

9. 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 according to the By-Laws. 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.

Article V – Nominations and Elections

1. Nominations by the election committee shall be done prior to the month of June.

2. The election shall be conducted in the month of June at the general meeting of the Association.

3. 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 general membership. All committee events shall be submitted to the Board for approval.

1. Membership and Outreach Committee – This committee shall be responsible for spreading information about AAMHA and its mission. It shall promote its programs and recruit members for the Association. It shall keep members informed regularly about the activities of the Association through personal contact.

2. Education and Program Committee – This committee shall organize, train and maintain educational activities for the members and the Armenian American community at large. It shall focus its efforts primarily on issues that have an effect on the Armenian American community’s culture and the process of adaptation. It shall oversee the delivery of CEUs, and facilitate the organization of conferences.

3. 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.

4. Website Committee – This committee shall update website and social media platforms with all relevant AAMHA information.

Article VII – Affiliation of the Association with Other Organizations

The Board and the general membership may establish affiliations with national, international scientific organizations and other organizations serving the Armenian community. Affiliations shall be terminated by the approval of the membership when they are not of any 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 publish a quarterly newsletter and shall develop a web site for the Membership and the Armenian community 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 and Conference

1. A detailed financial report and activities of the Board and the Membership shall be presented to the general Membership annually at the last meeting of the year.

2. The Association shall organize conferences. Topic, place, and other details shall be organized by the Education and Program Committee subject to the approval of the Board.

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 the special meeting.