Public Resources

AMHCA Standards for the Practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Adopted 1979
Revised 1992, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2015, 2016

Clinical mental health counselors have always understood that their professional work encompasses a broad range of clinical practice, including dealing with normal problems of living and promoting optimal mental health in addition to the prevention, intervention and treatment of mental and emotional disorders. This work of clinical mental health counselors serves the needs of socially and culturally diverse clients (e.g. age, gender, race/ethnicity, socio-­‐ economic status, sexual orientation) across the lifespan (i.e. children, adolescents and adults including older adults and geriatric populations). 

AMHCA Code of Ethics

AMHCA members are highly skilled professionals who provide a full range of counseling services in a variety of settings. Members believe in the dignity and worth of the individual and make every reasonable effort to protect human welfare. To this end, AMHCA establishes and promotes the highest professional standards. Mental health counselors subscribe to and pledge to abide by the principles identified in the Code of Ethics.

The Professional Identity of Clinical Mental Health Counselors

An AMHCA White Paper By Dr. Mark Gerig 

Many clinical mental health counselors already possess the training and experience in the promotion of wellness, a key component in successful integrated systems. The assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders are understood from a mental health perspective. Clinical mental health counselors are trained to assist clients towards achieving optimal human functioning and away from emotional and mental distress.

Dashed Hopes; Broken Promises; More Despair


By Joel E. Miller

A new, groundbreaking study shows that nearly 4 million people with mental illnesses who are uninsured reside in the 25 states that have refused to participate in the Medicaid Expansion program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these individuals have severe mental health conditions and currently have no health insurance coverage through any public or private plan, but will be denied the opportunity to obtain coverage for treatment since those states have refused to participate. States declining Medicaid Expansion represent 55 percent of all uninsured people with major mental health disorders who are eligible for coverage in the new health insurance access initiative.

Pulling the Rug Out from Under

Prepared by Joel E. Miller, James K. Finley, Rebecca Gibson and Whitney Meyerhoeffer

A new study shows that over 2.5 million Americans who have a serious mental health condition in 34 states will become uninsured in 2016, if the Supreme Court rolls back tax credit subsidies that currently make it affordable for those individuals to purchase coverage on federally-run health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The report highlights that, overall 3.2 million citizens with serious mental health conditions in 34 states that have federally-run exchanges are currently receiving subsidies that help offset the cost of monthly health insurance premiums. Only about a third would be able to keep some form of private health insurance.

Access Denied

Prepared by Joel E. Miller, James K. Finley, Rebecca Gibson and Whitney Meyerhoeffer

A new groundbreaking study from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) shows that nearly 570,000 people diagnosed with a serious mental health condition, would have received affordable, needed treatments, but were denied access to services because several states refused to participate in the new Medicaid Expansion Program. The federal government would have paid 100 percent of the treatment costs; the monies were already included in the federal budget. The comprehensive study also highlights that 458,000 fewer people would have avoided a depressive disorder mainly by securing health insurance through the Medicaid Expansion Program.