Each year California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth (CMHACY) singles out and highlights the efforts of stakeholders who have made a significant contribution in advancing mental wellness for California’s children and youth. These brief moments of celebration serve to remind us that ongoing efforts to improving the lives of children, youth and families/caregivers do not go unnoticed. The awards shine a light on recipients while they are among their peers and colleagues. Three separate achievement awards will be presented at the virtual conference in April 2021.
One of the primary goals of the CMHACY conference has been peer-to-peer dissemination of promising practices, culturally specific programs, youth/family-focused in nature, with measurable results that can be replicated in other locations throughout the State. Nominations in this category can include new programs or programs that adapt state or national models to specific communities, broaden service populations, or improve outcomes with the addition of new partners. The scope is very wide.
Improvements in public child/family mental health at the local and state levels does not happen without the efforts of a champion or leader. This category seeks to identify a colleague(s) who has seized upon opportunities to build something bigger, something better – either as a pilot program or through legislation or regulatory changes – and who is undaunted by competing priorities and/or funding and authority conflicts. CMHACY has granted this award to legislators, legislative aides, Boards of Supervisors, personnel from county and state offices, private providers and parent advocates.
In October of 2018, CMHACY lost Jim Preis to cancer—a former CMHACY Board member, Friend, frequent workshop presenter and moderator of our Friday Policy Panels. Jim was legendary In the children’s mental health movement in California and across the nation. Through his big battles, little skirmishes, productive collaborations, and persistent refusals to accept injustices, we witnessed decades of Jim’s undaunting and collegial efforts to improve the lives of Californians.
As Executive Director of Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. in Los Angeles, Jim dedicated his work and his life to improving access to and services/supports for people with mental health and emotional challenges. Jim’s impact was huge in the children’s mental health movement exemplified by his role as lead attorney on the lawsuit that in California expanded EPSTD to include mental health services.
In honor of his many contributions, the CMHACY Board has dedicated the Advocate of the Year award to Jim. By renaming the award in his honor, it will serve as an annual reminder of the extraordinary deeds that we can accomplish working together, and the incredible individual work he took on across his decades of service. CMHACY will honor his memory by recognizing an individual who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of children, youth and families and who shares the values and commitment to service that Jim stood for and for which he fought.
At the annual meeting of CMHACY in May of 2018, a decision was made to merge the CMHACY organization with a recently formed non-profit affiliate of CMHACY, created for the purpose of being able to collect tax-deductible donations. At this same meeting, the “membership” designation of CMHACY was also determined to be less effective when managing the efforts of the merged corporations. To ensure an open and transparent process of electing Directors of the CMHACY Board, the CMHACY Bylaws were rewritten to describe the protocols to be followed on an annual basis.
Below presents more detailed information for persons who are interested in serving CMHACY as either a Director or a Friend of the Board.
What are the qualifications for a Director of the Board of CMHACY?
To be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors, an individual must have attended at least one CMHACY conference, be a “stakeholder” in the public mental health system in California, and be at least 18 years of age.
What are the duties of a Director of the Board?
As outlined within the CMHACY Bylaws, a Director shall perform the duties in accordance with the law and in good faith, in a manner that the Director believes to be in the best interest of the Corporation. Specifically, the duties include:
How many Directors of the CMHACY Board are required?
The CMHACY Bylaws specify the number of Directors to be not less than 5 and not more than 15. At least two Board slots shall be reserved for nominees from Parent and Caregiver stakeholders, and at least two Board slots shall be reserved for nominees from Youth stakeholders.
Who are the Officers of the Board?
The Officers of CMHACY shall be President, Secretary and Treasurer. These persons shall be selected from among the Directors.
How long are the terms of office?
The term of office for each Director shall be three years. Directors may hold the position for up to three consecutive terms for a total of 9 years. After 9 years of service, Directors must take off one year and can then be considered again for another term. During the one-year absence, the Director may serve as a Friend if appointed by the President.
Is there any compensation for serving as a Director?
Directors shall serve without compensation except that they may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as Board members.
CMHACY will post notice on its website, via email, and use other social media avenues to publicize that a vacancy or vacancies on the Board has occurred or will occur. This vacancy or vacancies shall be noticed at least two months in advance of the annual conference. Nominations may be made prior to the Conference online, or onsite on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Conference. The Bylaws outline the ways to begin the process of seeking a Board of Director position:
How is an individual’s name submitted to the CMHACY Nominating Committee?
Interested persons should go to the CMHACY webpage and access the Board of Directors Nomination Form under the tab marked “CMHACY Nomination Form”. The form is to be completed online and submitted electronically. Nominations may also be made onsite at the annual Conference on the online form as well.
What is the cut-off date for nominations to be submitted?
Nominations are due Thursday, May 16th at 8AM. To have your name included in the printed program as a Board Nominee, please submit your application by Friday, May 3rd at 5PM
After submitting the Nominations Form, what is the next step in the process?
The Nominating Committee of the CMHACY Board will review all nominations forms for completeness of information, stakeholder representation, and the nominee’s responses contained within the application. Candidates whose forms meet the criteria will be placed on the ballot for the straw poll, described below.
How does the straw poll work?
Participants at each conference shall have the opportunity to participate in a straw poll, casting a ballot for the number of nominees needed to fill the current vacancies on the Board of Directors. The results of the straw poll will be announced at the conference. The results will identify the candidates who received the most votes. The top candidates who will move on to the next phase of the process will be comprised of two nominees more than the number of open Board seats.
What is the next step for the top candidates?
The top candidates will be interviewed by a Selection Committee composed of at least three Board members and two non-Board members appointed by the President of the CMHACY Board. The Selection Committee shall take into consideration the results of the straw poll, as well as the requirement to assure that at all times there are two Board slots filled by a nominee from Parent and Caregiver stakeholders and two Board slots filled by a nominee from Youth stakeholders. The Selection Committee will present their recommendation to the full Board for election. then be vetted by the Board’s Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall report the results of the vetting process to the Board of Directors.
When does the election occur?
Candidates for election to the Board of Directors will be elected at the first meeting of the Board after the annual CMHACY conference. Election to the Board of Directors will also take place at other Board meetings as needed to fill vacancies resulting from resignation or removal of a Director.
Who are Friends of the Board?
Friends of the Board are individuals who are committed to the purpose and goals of CMHACY, who have an interest in the proceedings of the organization, who can positively contribute at Board meetings and to conference planning, and who are willing to lend their expertise and experience. They represent the many diverse stakeholders who make up the CMHACY conference attendee pool. Friends are appointed to the Board at the discretion of the CMHACY President.
Applying for Friend Status
Interested persons should apply with the online Friend Application below. Applicants will be vetted by the Board of Directors at the next Board meeting, after which the President will make the final decision regarding the appointment. Applicants will be notified of the President’s decision following the Board meeting.
HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED HELP?
Please contact Cecily Hendricks, 2019 CMHACY Conference Coordinator at
Info@CMHACY.org or (831) 200-3679.