Article I: Name and Purpose

The name of the Section shall be The Serious Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance (SMI/SED) Section of the Division of Psychologists in Public Service (Division 18) of the American Psychological Association (APA).

The purposes of the Section are to:

  1. Promote understanding of the etiology, nature, impact, and amelioration of SMI/SED among psychologists and the general public.
  2. Advocate for inclusion of appropriate education and training of psychologists with regard to the etiology, nature, impact, and amelioration of SMI/SED.

The Section works to achieve these purposes by:

(a) providing a forum for psychological information exchange especially with regard to SMI and SED;

(b) encouraging the development of psychological knowledge that is relevant to SMI and SED;

(c) communicating psychological knowledge relevant to SMI and SED through education and training;

(d) applying psychological knowledge through services to people with SMI and SED and their families, and the public;

(e) promoting workforce development of psychologists serving people with SMI and SED and their families;

(f) developing and maintaining standards that will enhance understanding of, and treatment for, SMI and SED;

(g) advancing psychology and psychologists in the public interest.

Article II: General Provisions

As an integral part of the Division of Psychologists in Public Service, this Section is governed by the By-Laws and policies of the Division and of the American Psychological Association.

Article III: Membership

1. Introduction

Membership in the Section shall be limited to persons who, at the time of application for membership, are actively interested in the application or study of psychology related to SMI and SED. Voting membership of the Section shall consist of two classes: Members and Associates. The Section shall also accept Affiliate and Student members of the American Psychological Association (APA) as non-voting members.

(a) Members, Associates, Affiliates, and Students must meet the minimum standards prescribed by APA.

(b) New Members and Associates of the Division, who are elected by a majority vote of the Division Board of Directors upon nomination by the Division Membership Committee, shall automatically be Members and Associates of the Serious Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance Section, upon self-declaration and according to the rules and procedures of Division 18.

(c) New non-voting Student and Affiliate members of the Division, who are elected by a majority vote of the Division Board of Directors upon nomination by the Division Membership Committee, shall automatically be non-voting Student and Affiliate members of the Serious Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance Section, upon self-declaration and according to the rules and procedures of Division 18.

2. Nomination of Individuals from the Section for Division Fellow Status

(a) Fellows of the Division shall be characterized by outstanding contribution or performance in the field of public service and must meet the minimum standards prescribed for Fellows of the APA.

(b) The Section Executive Council, acting by itself or on behalf of any voting member of the Section shall have the responsibility of reviewing nominated candidates for Fellowship status generated from within the Section.

(c) In accordance with APA requirements, the Section Executive Council shall forward the names of persons recommended for Fellow status to the Division Fellowship Committee for approval and forwarding to APA for consideration. Upon notification to the Division of election by the APA, successful applicants submitted by the Section will become Fellows of the APA in the Division of Psychologists in Public Service.

Article IV: Officers/Executive Council
  1. The officers of the Serious Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance Section shall be Section Chair, Chair Elect, Past Section Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The officers shall constitute the Executive Council of the Section.
  2. Terms of office for officers shall be two (2) years. Newly elected officers will assume office at the close of the annual APA Convention and shall serve through the annual meeting which occurs at the end of their term of office.
  3. The Section Executive Council shall have responsibility for general supervision of the affairs of the Section, performing the duties and abiding by the limitations specified in these and the Division 18 By-Laws.
  4. The Chair shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Section Executive Council.
  5. It shall be the duty of the Section Chair to preside at all Section meetings, to exercise supervision over the affairs of the Section with the approval of the Executive Council of the Section and to perform such other duties as are incident to the office or as may properly be required by vote of the Executive Council or it's membership. In addition, the Section Chair shall serve as liaison between the Section and the Division and serve as a member of the Division's Board of Directors as specified in the Division of Psychologists in Public Service Bylaws.
  6. It shall be the duty of the Chair Elect to serve as a member of the Section Executive Council and to assume the duties of the Chair in case of the latter's inability to do so. The Chair Elect shall also serve as a chair of committees at the direction of the Chair and shall be responsible for the Section's report and contribution to the Division's Newsletter. The Chair Elect will also serve as a member of the Section Membership Committee.
  7. It shall be the duty of the Past Chair to serve as serve as a member of the Section Executive Council and serve as a chair of committees at the direction of the Chair.
  8. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep records of all meetings of the Section; to issue calls and notices of Section meetings and nominations of Section officers; or to arrange with the Central Office of the APA for the issuing of such announcements, and to file minutes of Section business meetings with the Division’s Secretary. The Secretary shall also serve as a member of the Section Executive Council and serve as a chair of committees at the direction of the Chair.
  9. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to maintain custody of all funds and property of the Section; collect such special dues or assessments as may be voted in accordance with the By-Laws; and make disbursements as authorized by the Section Executive Council. The Treasurer shall prepare in writing a fiscal report and budget for approval by the Section Executive Council. The Treasurer shall also serve as a member of the Section Executive Council and serve as a chair of committees at the direction of the Chair.
  10. In the case of death, incapacity, or resignation of any of the officers, the Section Executive Council shall by majority vote elect a Member or Associate to hold office until a successor is elected by the Section per the regular election procedures.
Article V: Standing Committees
  1. The following shall constitute the Standing Committees of the Section (and the heads of the committees): Listserv (Listserv Administrator), Website (Website Coordinator), Membership (Membership Chair), Nominations and Election (Nominations and Election Chair), and Students (Student Representative).
  2. The Standing Committee Chairs are appointed by the Section Chair with guidance from the Executive Council. At the option of the Section Chair, nominations may be solicited from the Section membership. It shall be the duty of the Standing Committee Chairs to serve as a chair of a Standing Committees at the direction of the Section Chair. Replacements for Standing Committee Chairs shall be selected by the Section Chair or shall be left vacant at his or her discretion. Standing Committee Chairs report to the Section Executive Council.
Article VI: Other Committees

The Chair shall appoint any other special committee considered to be useful to the purposes of the Section. All committee appointments must be ratified by a majority vote of the Section Executive Council before committee business may be executed. Standing and special committees report to the Section Executive Council.

Article VII: Nominations, Elections and Awards
  1. The Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall solicit nominations for Division Fellow status and nominations for the offices of Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer six months prior to the due date for Fellow applications and six months prior to the expiration of the terms of these Executive Council members. This will be done by a polling of the membership of the Section. The Chair of the Committee shall report to the Secretary the final list of Fellow nominees and a list of at least two nominees for each office no later than four months prior to the due date for Fellow nominations or expiration of the current terms of office.
  2. The Secretary shall prepare and mail an election ballot to each Member and Associate Member of the Section in time for the election to be completed prior to the annual APA Convention.
  3. The official count of election ballots shall be conducted by the Nominations and Elections Committee and candidates for office will be notified of the results as soon as they are ratified by the Section Executive Council. The election results will be announced at the annual business meeting of the Section.
  4. The Nominations and Elections Chair shall also be responsible for soliciting nominations for awards. The solicitation for awards shall be carried out in a timely fashion and issued immediately upon notification by the Division President or Section Chair that such nominations are due. In addition to soliciting nominations for awards, The Nominations and Elections Chair will provide recommendations for each award to the Executive Council which will be responsible for selecting awardees.
Article VIII: Duties of Standing Committee Chairs
  1. Nominations and Elections Chair: see Article VII.
  2. Membership Chair: The Membership Chair shall be responsible for soliciting new Section members. The Membership Chair shall also be responsible for maintaining an up to date listing, with contact information, of all Section members. The Membership Chair shall work with the Listserv Administrator to ensure that listserv addresses are correct.
  3. Listserv Administrator: The Listserv Administrator shall develop and maintain the Section listserv. The Listserv Administrator shall be responsible for liaison with the Division and with APA in all matters regarding the listserv, and shall follow all regulations established by the Division and by APA for administration of listservs.
  4. Student Representative: The Student Representative shall be responsible for recruiting and maintaining contact with students who are interested in issues related to SMI and SED. The Student Representative shall provide to the Membership Chair an up to date listing of all student members of the Section.
  5. Website Coordinator: The Website Coordinator shall be responsible for developing, updating, and maintaining a Section website. The Website Coordinator shall be responsible for liaison with the Division and with APA in all matters regarding the website, and shall follow all regulations established by the Division and by APA for website administration.
Article IX: Meetings

The annual meeting of the Section shall take place during the annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. The Section shall seek to coordinate its program with and participate in the program of Division 18.

  1. Amendments to the Section Bylaws may be proposed by the Section Executive Council or by a petition signed by 20% of the Section.
  2. Proposed amendments to the Section Bylaws must be distributed to the voting membership of the Section at least 30 days prior to the closing date for receipt of ballots.
  3. Proposed amendments must be supported by two-thirds of the Section members who vote in the election. Amendments so supported will be adopted by the Section Executive Council and incorporated into the Bylaws within 60 days of adoption.
Enabling Action

These Bylaws will go into effect upon approval by a majority of those Section members present at the annual meeting.

Adopted