Constitution of Shanghai International Mental Health Association

Article I. Name

This association shall be called Shanghai International Mental Health Association and its acronym shall be SIMHA.

Article II. Mission Statement

SIMHA is an interdisciplinary association of individuals and organizations providing mental health care to the people of the various nationalities living in Shanghai. Together, we strive to encourage a high standard of professional performance, prepare for effective coordinated responses to emergent psychosocial needs and crises, identification of the psychosocial problems facing the people of various nationalities living in Shanghai and, in conjunction with those people, look for early solutions. SIMHA facilitates peer support and networking with related organizations while providing top-quality continuing education in Shanghai, a forum for discussion about professional ethics and emergent psychosocial needs, and information about current local resources throughout Shanghai.

Article III. Objectives

The purpose of SIMHA shall be to improve the quality of mental health care for the many nationalities in Shanghai by:

Section 3.01

Verifying member credentials, to the extent possible, in respective home countries, including determination of member’s standing relative to code of conduct of respective discipline;

Section 3.02

Requiring members to pledge adherence to SIMHA Code of Ethics as well as continued adherence to respective discipline’s Code of Ethics;

Section 3.03

Providing a forum for discussing and instituting coordinated efforts related to emergent psychosocial needs and crises;

Section 3.04

Providing members with opportunities for networking among the people and organizations providing mental health care to the members of the various nationalities in Shanghai;

Section 3.05

Providing opportunities for continuing education for members;

Section 3.06

Maintaining an up-to-date database of mental health and related resources available to members of the various nationalities in Shanghai;

Article IV. Qualifications for Membership

Section 4.01

Mental health professionals and students in various disciplines having an interest in the provision and advancement of mental health and psychosocial services to the people of the various nationalities living in Shanghai are eligible for membership in SIMHA. Members must reside in Shanghai as evidenced by 1) possession of non-tourist visa, and 2) presence in, and availability to serve, the Shanghai international community a minimum of eight months per year.

Section 4.02

Members of SIMHA are expected to practice in accordance with the highest standards as set forth in the SIMHA Code of Ethics and the member’s respective discipline’s Code of Ethics.

(a) All members agree to support the mission and objectives and participate in the activities of SIMHA as they are able.

(b) All applicants for membership are required to pledge to abide by the SIMHA Code of Ethics, as a condition of membership, and are subject to its provisions, as a condition of membership.

(c) All Members and applicants for Membership are required to make full disclosure of credentials in their initial and renewal applications as needed to substantiate qualifications for membership and clinical practice, and to inform SIMHA of any relevant changes in credentials. This disclosure shall include relevant professional education, special training and experience, documented by resume and copies of diplomas or transcripts, certifications, licenses, etc., as necessary, to verify qualification for membership and clinical practice, and shall include any history of loss of licensure or other disciplinary action, including any pending professional reviews or actions to limit practice. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant or member to so inform SIMHA. Any misrepresentation of credentials shall be cause for denial of, or removal from,  membership.

Section 4.03

There are three categories of membership, based on professional qualifications: Clinical, Associate, and Student.

 (a) Qualifications for Clinical Membership:

1) Master’s Degree or higher, or equivalent professional training, in a field of clinical mental health from an institution which is recognized by a regional or national accreditation body. Such training should include both theoretical courses in the specific mental health field and supervised clinical work experience.

2) Have completed at least two years of full-time well-supervised post-master’s clinical experience in their field (or equivalent) defined as:  2,500  contact hours of clinical experience including at least 250 hours of direct supervision with appropriate discipline.

3) Active licensure/registration for clinical practice in the country of training for their field of practice , if such licensure or registration with a relevant authority is available or expected to practice clinically

4) Clinical Members must reside in Shanghai as evidenced by  1) possession of non-tourist visa, and 2) presence in, and availability to serve, the Shanghai international community a minimum of eight months per year

(b) Privileges of Clinical Membership:

1) Clinical Members shall have the privilege of voting on all issues placed before the collective membership  by the Board, at the discretion of the Board.

2) Clinical Members shall have the right to participate in all other activities and functions of SIMHA, and may be elected or appointed to committees of the Board, as specified and otherwise limited by this Constitution.

3) Clinical Members are eligible to vote for and serve on all positions of the Board.

4) Clinical Members are eligible to be listed in the Membership Directory with education, clinical credentials and practice data included in accordance with the Membership Directory format. The decision to include/exclude a member’s listing lies with the Executive Committee.

5) Clinical Members are eligible to have a profile posted on the SIMHA website with education, clinical credentials and practice data included in accordance with the SIMHA website format. The decision to include/exclude a member’s profile lies with the Executive Committee.

(c) Qualifications for Associate Membership:

1) ) Master’s Degree or higher, or equivalent professional training, in a field of clinical mental health from an institution which is recognized by a regional or national accreditation body but not eligible for Clinical Membership due to insufficient contact/supervision hours. Such training should include both theoretical courses in the specific mental health field and supervised clinical work experience.

OR

2) (i) Bachelor’s degree in a field of clinical practice, if permitted to practice with a Bachelor’s degree in country or state of training,

(ii) Licensed for clinical practice in the country or state of training for their field of practice at the Bachelor’s level if such licensure is available,

(iii) Able to document ten (10) years’ supervised full-time post-baccalaureate clinical practice.

3) Associate Members must reside in Shanghai as evidenced by 1) possession of non-tourist visa, and 2) presence in, and availability to serve, the Shanghai international community a minimum of eight months per year.

4) Associate Members must provide reasonable evidence of supervision received (as is suggested by their regional or national accreditation body referenced in item “c-1” above) for the clinical work they have been, and are, engaged in for the duration of clinical practice in Shanghai.

(d) Privileges of Associate Membership:

(1) Associate Members shall be eligible to vote on all issues placed before the collective membership or Associate Membership by the Board, but shall not be eligible to vote on issues placed by the Board, at its discretion, solely before the Clinical Membership alone.

(2) Associate Members shall have the right to participate in all other activities and functions of SIMHA, and may be elected or appointed to committees of the Board, as specified and otherwise limited by this Constitution.

(3) Associate Members are eligible to vote for all positions of the Board.

4) Associate Members are eligible to be listed in the Membership Directory with education, clinical credentials and practice data included in accordance with the Membership Directory format. The decision to include/exclude a member’s listing lies with the Executive Committee.

5) Associate Members are eligible to have a profile posted on the SIMHA website with education, clinical credentials and practice data included in accordance with the SIMHA website format. The decision to include/exclude a member’s profile lies with the Executive Committee.

(e) Qualifications for Student Membership;

Graduate and undergraduate students in mental health fields of clinical practice are eligible for Student Membership status.

(f) Privileges of Student Membership:

(1) Student Members shall be eligible to vote on all issues placed before the collective membership by the Board, but shall not be eligible to vote on issues placed by the Board, at its discretion, solely before the Clinical Membership and Associate Memberships jointly or separately.

(2) Student Members shall have the right to participate in all other activities and functions of SIMHA, and may be elected or appointed to committees of the Board, as specified and otherwise limited by this Constitution.

(3) Student Members are eligible to vote for all positions of the Board.

Section 4.04 Decisions upon Application for Membership

(a) The Membership Chair reviews and decides upon applications for membership in accordance with the above-stated criteria.

(b) The Membership Chair is authorized to interpret the qualification criteria for membership in order to decide upon applications for membership in circumstances requiring special consideration. Where unclear, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient additional documentation and proof of qualification.

(c) Membership decisions of the Membership Chair can be appealed to the Board for reconsideration at the applicant’s request. All appeals shall be decided by majority vote of the Board, and its decisions upon appeal shall be final.

 

Article V. Board of Directors

Section 5.01 Composition

The Board of Directors will consist of at least nine voting officers, including President, Vice President, Secretary of the Board, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Marketing Chair, Events Chair, and Webmaster, and one community-at-large member (Lifeline Representative). The board may appoint or decommission additional officers from among its General Members, at its discretion. The Executive Committee shall consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Secretary, and Treasurer. The President must have previous experience serving on the Board before filling this office.

 

Section 5.02 Election of the Board

SIMHA members will elect the President and the other Board Members from among the general membership of SIMHA by secret ballot during an annual election which is to be held at the annual Meeting of SIMHA to be held early in the calendar year. The Secretary of the Board will issue a call to the general membership for nominations for vacant positions at least one (1) month prior to the election. Ballots will be sent by email to SIMHA members with a list of eligible members and a list of nominees at least one (1) week before the election. However, voting is not restricted to the list of nominees, and nominations may also be made at the time of the Convention. Nominees must indicate their willingness to serve to be eligible for election. Members may then vote either by absentee ballot, or at the annual Meeting, but absentee ballots must be received prior to the Annual Meeting to be counted. Members may only vote once. Two ballots are to be cast: one for the position of President, and one for the remaining positions, with the election of President held first. Ballots which contain more than the requisite number of names will be considered void. Candidates shall be elected by majority of votes cast. In cases of tie votes, a run-off election will be held immediately, or as soon as is practicable. The results of the election will be announced immediately, or as soon as is practicable. The President of the newly- elected Board shall convene its first meeting at the Convention if a quorum is present, or as soon after as is practicable. The Board shall elect the remaining officers from among its members by secret ballot as soon as practicable.

Section 5.03 Duties of Officers and of the board of Directors

(a) Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

The Board shall establish the policies of SIMHA and shall have full charge of its property and business, except as limited by its Constitution and By Laws, and shall make those policies known and available, and be fully accountable to the general membership for its management of SIMHA’s property and business. While Board members will make different contributions based on their individual interests and abilities, all are expected to: (i) help define the long term vision for SIMHA as well as short term goals and

(ii) objectives;

(iii) promote SIMHA and encourage appropriate people to join;

(iv) share information of relevance to the Board or SIMHA membership in a timely manner (i.e.: contact information for potential new members, legal or other changes that may affect SIMHA Members, etc.);

(v) attend all Board meetings;

(vi) reside in Shanghai for the entire term of office;

(b) Role and Responsibilities of President

The President shall:

(i) provide leadership to accomplish the goals and objectives set by the Board,

(ii) convene and conduct meetings of the executive committee and the Board of Directors,

(iii) facilitate communication between subcommittees, Board Members, and the Membership,

(iv) be an ex-officio member of all committees, aware of their progress and needs.

(c) Role and Responsibilities of Vice President

The Vice President shall:

(i) assist the President and perform the duties of the President in the President’s absence,

(ii) serve the ethics responsibilities

(iii) participate in the review of new membership applications

(d) Role and Responsibilities of Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

(i) collect membership dues

(ii) have custody of and be accountable for SIMHA funds, depositing SIMHA funds only in authorized SIMHA accounts,

(iii) keep accounts of the general funds and give a financial report at all regular Board meetings.

(iv) coordinate the creation of a yearly budget to the board.

(v) arrange for a yearly independent audit and present the results of the audit to the Board

(e) Role and Responsibilities of Secretary of the Board

The Secretary shall:

(i) keep a record of all business transacted at Board meetings and submit copies of the minutes of each meeting to all Board members in a timely manner,

(ii) manage the Election of the Board of Directors,

(iii) be responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the resource data base.

(f) Role and Responsibilities of Membership Chair

The Membership Chair shall:

(i) maintain an up-to-date membership mailing list and the web membership and therapist search lists

(ii) provide the membership mailing list to anyone carrying out SIMHA business upon request

(iii) supervise the maintenance of a membership database

(iv) respond to requests for information about membership and membership issues

(v) make the initial determination about membership category for all applicants based on the membership qualifications set forth in the constitution. If any applicant objects to the Membership Chair’s determination, the Membership Chair will address the Executive Committee to review the decision. The Executive Committee’s decisions can be appealed only to the full Board.

(vi) make the initial determination about inclusion/exclusion in the Membership Directory. If the member objects, the Member Chair will address the Executive Committee to review the decision. The Executive Committee’s decision is final.

(g) Role and Responsibilities of Marketing Chair

The Marketing Chair  shall:

(i) coordinate the outreach to promote SIMHA

(ii) establish and maintain a database of potential promoters for SIMHA

(iii) be the media and outreach contact

(iiii) distribute the membership directory to designated community sites.

(h) Role and Responsibilities of Events Chair Person

The Events Chair person shall:

(i) be responsible for coordinating and supervising of all SIMHA events including the annual meeting

(ii) work closely with marketing chair person to promote all SIMHA events

(i) Role and Responsibilities of Website Chair

The Website Chair shall:

(i) coordinate and maintain the website

(ii) coordinate the member list serve (email distribution list for internal SIMHA member communications)

(vi) make the initial determination about inclusion/exclusion of website profile. If the member objects, the Website Chair will address the Executive Committee to review the decision. The Executive Committee’s decision is final.

(j) Role and Responsibilities of Crisis Response Chair

The Crisis Response Chair person shall:

(i) be responsible for coordinating and supervising SIMHA response to crisis within the international community.

(ii) coordinate appropriate professional training for SIMHA members related to crisis response.

(k) Role and Responsibilities of Member at large

The Member at Large Chair person shall:

(i) serve as the general representative of the association members by helping to advocate and voice questions, concerns, and general inquiries as they pertain to SIMHA.

Section 5.04 Subcommittees

The Board shall establish subcommittees as it may deem necessary to carry out its functions, and shall appoint their members and specify their rules of procedure. The Board shall be responsible for the decisions and actions of its committees, and shall exercise oversight of their work. Board members should be members of at least one subcommittee for their entire term of office.

Section 5.05 Meetings

The full Board of Directors will meet at least twice a year to carry out SIMHA business on behalf of the general membership, to include the setting of organizational goals and creation and execution of plans for their implementation. The Executive Committee is responsible for exercising all of the powers and authority of the Board of Directors during intervals between Board meetings, except for those powers delegated to the other committees of the Board. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be convened by the President with adequate prior notice to the members or by the request of one-third of the members of the Board, either by vote or petition. Meeting dates, times, and locations will be decided by the President. The president may also convene meetings of the Executive Committee as needed.

Section 5.06 Quorum

A quorum of the membership of the Board shall be required to enact the business of the Board, Executive Committee or any subcommittee of the Board, respectively. A quorum shall consist of at least one half the membership of the Board, Executive Committee or subcommittee, respectively.

Section 5.07 Terms of Office

The terms of office for all members of the Board shall be for one year.  Officers shall be elected at the annual conference, and shall take office immediately upon election.

Section 5.08 Limitations

No person shall hold more than one elected office of the Board concurrently.

Section 5.09 Midterm Resignations and Replacements

In the event that any Board member, other than the President, does not complete their term of office, the president shall appoint a replacement from among the general membership of SIMHA to serve out that term. If the vacated position is an office, the members of the board shall elect an officer from among its members to fill that position, by secret ballot. If the President does not serve out their term, the Vice President shall become President, and the members of the board shall fill the vacant Vice President position by secret ballot.

Section 5.10 – Board Member Expectations

All SIMHA Board members are expected to:

  • Commit to attending 2 to 3 board meetings per year, unless out of town;
  • Stay current in dues;
  • Attend 75% of the organization’s events;
  • Respond to emails regarding SIMHA within 72 hours, unless traveling;
  • Inform other Board members ahead of time when they will be out of email contact and unable to fulfill SIMHA duties;
  • Organize and lead their committee;
  • Make arrangements for a member of their committee to cover their responsibilities (including attending Board meetings in their stead) when they are out of town and if unable to find coverage, to inform the President;
  • Find and groom/train a successor when the time comes to move on.

Article VI. Dues

Members shall be assessed such dues as are established by the Board of Directors. Dues for SIMHA membership shall be assessed yearly for the calendar year and pro-rated in a schedule determined by the Board.  Dues are non-refundable.

Article VII. Annual Meeting

The Board of Directors shall plan, prepare and convene an annual meeting of the general membership, at which time its Board of Directors shall be elected and recommendations of the general membership can be made to the Board, and the Board’s recommendations may be voted upon by the general membership. A majority of those voting on an issue presented at the General Meeting shall carry a motion.

Article VIII. Amendments and By-Laws

Amendments to this constitution and By-Laws may be proposed by the Board or proposed to the Board by any member of SIMHA. Proposed Amendments and By-Laws shall be submitted to the general membership for consideration by majority vote of the Board, and shall be approved by majority of members voting.

Article IX. Severability

If any provision of the constitution or its by-laws is held invalid, such invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications. To this end the provisions of these by-laws are declared to be severable.

Article X. Dissolution of SIMHA

If any provision of the constitution or it’s by-laws is held invalid, such invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications. To this end the provisions of these by-laws are declared to be severable. Article XI. Dissolution of SIMHA SIMHA can be dissolved by two-thirds vote of general members voting. All outstanding debts will be paid prior to disposal of remaining funds, which shall be dispersed by vote of the general membership. Such action shall not conflict with any Chinese law.

BY-LAWS

Section 1.01

The purpose of the SIMHA Member Directory is to provide identified users within the Shanghai international community with the most current information about the SIMHA members available to serve the Shanghai international community. The Member Chair maintains the SIMHA Member Directory. The Secretary maintains the distribution list of identified users of the Member Directory. Decisions as to inclusion/exclusion in the Member Directory lie with the Member Chair.

Section 1.02

The purpose of the SIMHA website therapist directory is to provide the Shanghai international community with the most current information about the SIMHA members available to serve the Shanghai international community. Decisions as to inclusion/exclusion in the website therapist directory lie with the Website Chair.

 

Section 1.03

The Membership Directory may be used as a basis for a mailing list only with prior permission of the Board and only for notices or information directly related to SIMHA and its purposes.

Article XII. SIMHA List Serve

SIMHA shall establish a list serve to provide notification to members about events and issues. The Website Chair will supervise and oversee the list serve. Any SIMHA member may post to the list serve, however, information must be related to SIMHA and its purposes.