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National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

By       Message Kenneth Briggs     Permalink
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I just recently became aware that the annual conference of the National Council ended on March 28th. The last one that I attended was in 1989, I believe. It appears that much has changed in the last 20 years, including the name of the organization holding the conference. The name of the organization used to be the National Council of Comprehensive Community Mental Health Centers and was formed in 1970 as an organization of Federally funded comprehensive community mental health centers. At that time, if my memory serves me correctly, membership was restricted to those centers and each was allowed two representatives, one staff member and one board member. According to their web site, www.nccbh.org/, today, the National Council is a not-for-profit, 501 [c][3] association of 1,300 behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illness and addictions disorders to nearly six million adults, children and families in communities across the country.

The members of the National Council bear testimony to the fact that medical, social, psychological and rehabilitation services provided in community settings help people with mental illnesses and addictions disorders recover and lead productive lives. The National Council is managed by an experienced and dedicated staff. It is governed by a Board of Directors representing behavioral healthcare experts . The Board and Staff stand ready to assist behavioral healthcare organizations reach their maximum potential in delivering quality services.

Today, the National Council has five membership categories:
1] The first appears to be similar to the original membership category of 1970 in that it is open to any behavioral healthcare organization that directly provides clinical services, subscribes to the National Council's code of ethics and vision statement. Each has two votes, one to be cast by a staff member and one by a community representative.

2] The second is called "Authority" and is any local or regional entity established by a governmental body, usually a city or county, for the allocation of resources for behavioral healthcare services. Again, each must subscribe to the code of ethics and vision statement of the National Council, but each has only one vote to be cast by a representative designated by the Authority.
3] The third category is State Associations which can be any statewide association of behavioral healthcare providers that subscribes to the code of ethics and vision statement of the National Council. Each has one vote to be cast by a designated representative of the Association.

Here, I have a question. It is, why must the association be statewide? Why are regional associations within a state excluded and why are multi- state regional associations likewise excluded? It seems to me, that in a state like Illinois, there easily could be two associations, one for the Chicago region and another for the rest of the state. There is a substantial difference in the issues facing each of these regions. Also, I can see where multi-state regions may make sense. For example, would a Nevada-Arizona regional association make sense? Probably not, but, maybe.

4]Integrated Delivery System. Perhaps this category makes my questions in category three redundant. If so, I withdraw my questions. This category is apparently meant to provide a continuum of care of services to a defined population in a region or state. The parent company of the system must join. Members of the network may join as direct service providers. The integrated service network must subscribe to the National Council's code of ethics and vision statement. The integrated service network shall have one vote which sell be cast by the appointed representative of the network.
5] This, the fifth and final category, is entitled " Other Association" and includes any local, regional, or national association that subscribes to the code of ethics and vision statement of the National Council. Other Association members shell have one vote each.

At this point, I wonder if the membership is too broad. Could it, in fact, include my provider clinic and the one next door, if we formed an Association and became members as an "other Association" as well as individual provider agencies under category one and thus have a total of five votes between the two of us. This seems to allow for a lot of mischief.

In addition to categories of membership, the members are also organized by region. Each region being a group of states. For example Region 1 is made up of the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; and, Region X is made up of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington. Each Region has a Staff Director and a Community Director.

The Board of Directors appears to consist of a Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Public Policy Committee Chair, State Association Representative, 100% State Association Representative and Public Policy, Vice Chair and the Staff director and Community Director from each of ten regions.

This seems like a large, all encompassing organization structure. What it covers and what it produces will be examined in National Council Part 2.
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An OEN Editor. Born-03/20/1934, BA Pol. Sci.-U of Washington-1956, MBA-Seattle U-1970, Boeing-Program Control-1957-1971, State of Oregon-Mental Health Division-Deputy Admistrator-1971-1979, llinois Association of Community MH (more...)
 

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