Important Message From Joe Miller, CEO of the American Mental Health Counselors Association

A Message from AMHCA’s CEO

It shows a proactive movement by AMHCA, supported by MMHCA the State Chapter of AMHCA.

March 23, 2020

I hope everyone is doing well given the circumstances.  As we work through this time of uncertainty during this period of COVID-19, you’re not alone. Uncertainty and the sense of not being safe – not to mention the physical distancing, round-the-clock-news and empty grocery shelves – is common around the country.

We’re very mindful of how your email boxes are filled with COVID-19 related messages and we are utilizing our communication channels (website, social media, communities, newsletter, et al) as much as possible to keep from inundating you with too much, while still keeping communication lines open.

We are grateful for all that you –- AMHCA members — and our partners are doing on the ground to support the health, safety, and well-being of people with mental health conditions. The AMHCA team is so proud to be working for you knowing during this crisis, as you are on the frontlines providing critically important treatments and services to vulnerable Americans who suffer from an array of conditions such as depressive, anxiety, panic, PTS, trauma-related, and other mental health disorders. We know that many people with a mental health condition – many with serious mental illness — will see their conditions exacerbate during this period, but reassured that you are there to serve them during this time of additional needs. Clinical mental health counselors are always working for the betterment of mental health and well-being – and the total health of individuals and employ leadership, advocacy, and collaborative skills to promote systemic changes for improved public health.  Never have you been needed more. You are all a treasured American resource.

AMHCA remains committed to doing all we can to support you during this unprecedented time.  We have had in place a virtual business operation for the last two years, so we are in a position to continue to address your needs and promote your interests on many levels.  We have not missed a beat to make sure we continue to provide all the benefits that AMHCA offers uninterrupted and in a timely fashion.

If you have not had an opportunity to visit our website, please click on the following links for AMHCA resources that we have identified to try to help you through this unique period.

Information for You and Your Practice

Information on Tele-Behavioral Health Issues

Also, keep in mind that you can find other AMHCA resources on telemental health by searching our site.

You can further narrow this search by content, webpage, community and type of resource.

In addition, to make things easy, we have identified several resources below (some embodied in the links above) but we thought it would be helpful to include them in this email as one-stop shop for your convenience.

I have been thinking over the last couple of days what I can say at the conclusion of this message that can be reassuring and profound, but I can only think about these things:

“We all are in this together” – watchwords of this period for our coronavirus response.

Be Considerate:  Tell your clients, family, friends and neighbors not to hoard food, paper products, and hand sanitizer. Hoarding is not an effective American response.  It can put all of us at risk for infection.  Share fairly.

Be Risk Adverse:  The closing of restaurants, bars, and stores will increase the temptation to “get together” with family and friends, “just to get out of the house or apartment”.  Resist the risk.

Be Gregarious:  Call, email, and text families, friends, long-lost relatives frequently (and clients you have not heard from).  They need your continuing support at this difficult time. Make a list of family and friends to contact each day and set aside an hour to do so. Defeat social isolation. 

Be Together:  During these socially distanced days, you need more touch than usual with your touchable loved ones.  Make it a house rule that everyone gets a 20-second hug every two hours.  Practice human contact.   For those alone at home, if you are on Skype, Facetime, etc. – please make lots of eye contact.

Be Safe.  Be Healthy.

Best,

Joel E. Miller

Executive Director and CEO

American Mental Health Counselors Association

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