Networking: ACMHAI offers Community Behavioral Health Authority Directors in Illinois an opportunity to connect and communicate with each other in a collaborative environment. Quarterly meetings offer members a face to face opportunity ACMHAI Members learn from other members doing similar work and seek consult and peer mentoring by connecting with members who are knowledgeable of peer mentors with longevity and experience. Networking and sharing resources, strategies, and practices assist members in enhancing their operations of local community mental health authorities. Networking with ACMHAI membership provides members the ability to create alliances or partnerships around key behavioral health work and issues.
Advocacy: One of the most valued benefits to ACMHAI members is advocacy. When you become a member, you have an organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the behavioral health needs of your county, township or municipality. Government Strategy Associates-GSA is a dedicated team contracted by ACMHAI to lobby and advocate on our members behalf. GSA has delivered exceptional services and has worked to protect and advocate for the provisions of our State statute: the Community Mental Health Act, (405 ILCS 20), County Care for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act (55 ILCS 105), and related Acts. GSA identifies key contacts, provides guidance in Springfield and represents positions of ACMHAI on public policy to the Illinois General Assembly. GSA also communicates positions on substantive legislation, appropriations, and administrative rules that advance ACMHAI’s advocacy agenda and goals. Advocacy is an expense to ACMHAI and as an Association member it is more cost effective to share the cost of a lobbyist than for each member to contract these services.
Education: ACMHAI offers a variety of educational opportunities from quarterly trainings to webinars and information on other behavioral health associations and state and national conferences. Presenters have included leaders in behavioral health in Illinois
and other states. Educational topics can include information specific to the operations of community behavioral health authorities, key issues and trends, promoting best practices, and current legislation. Members feel that the educational resources alone pay for membership. A library of documents, materials, manuals and tools are available for members to view on the ACMHAI website to provide further assistance to members.
Briefings: Behavioural health news and updates are provided to members weekly through the dissemination of Newsletters and Materials (I.e., Capital Fax, National Council of Behavioural Health and Developmental Disability Directors-NACBHDDD, Open Minds, Illinois Association of Behavioral Health –IABH, Community Behavioral Health Association-CBHA).
Research: ACMHAI conducts various research and analysis on behavioural health as it impacts counties, townships and municipalities. White papers and research reports have been conducted that have offered great insights and have helped us advocate for specific behavioural health services. Financial analysis of Board levies, member-salary surveys and other analysis by pooling resources from members, provide materials that benefit everyone in the group.