Mental Health Statistics (MHS) Section Proposed Charter November 7, 2011 Preamble The modern science of mental health encompasses a broad range of disciplines, including

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Mental Health Statistics (MHS) Section

Proposed Charter


November 7, 2011


Preamble


The modern science of mental health encompasses a broad range of disciplines, including
genetics, neuroscience, imaging, pharmacology, psychiatry, behavioral science, heal
th
economics, and epidemiology. Situated at the interface between our understanding of the
biological determinants of human behavior and the classical theories of psychiatry and
psychology, mental health research poses unique challenges for study design an
d
analysis. Given the breadth of fields covered, we believe there is a pressing need for an
intellectual forum for statisticians and other quantitative scientists who are interested in
mental health research to meet and work together on these issues that
are critical to the
health of individuals and populations.


Recent years have witnessed the birth of an organic movement uniting mental health
statisticians, who are currently spread out across multiple subject areas and professional
associations. A cr
itical event was the establishment in 1999 of the Penn
-
Columbia
Symposium on Statistics in Psychiatry. Now known as the Ten Have Symposium in
honor of its late co
-
founder, this meeting has become an annual event, and has expanded
to include New York Unive
rsity, Weill
Cornell
Medical College, and Yale University,
attracting speakers and attendees from around the country. Many Symposium members
also took part in the June 2011 founding of

the Interest Group on Statistics in Mental
Health Research (SMHR) of t
he American Statistical Association. Within less than five
months, the Interest Group had enrolled more than 1
5
0 members, launched a website
(
http://www.healthstats.org/smhr/index.html
) and a mont
hly newsletter
(
http://smhr.org/newsletter/
), held an informal organizational meeting, competed
successfully for an invited session in the 2012 ENAR Spring Meeting and an invited
session in the 2012 Joint Statis
tical Meetings (JSM), and co
-
sponsored three additional
invited sessions in the 2012 JSM (two of which were selected through the section session
competition). The dynamic record of the Interest Group attests the need for a Section that
will continue and ex
tend its work to the broader community of mental health statisticians.


The founders of SMHR recognize the importance of their shared interests with various
existing ASA sections. Yet no existing section fully represents the broad scope of mental
health s
tatistics, or fully captures the interactions among its many components. The new
Section will thus serve as a focus for statistical research in mental health and a magnet for
a broad range of quantitative scientists working in mental health, complementing
the
critical work of the existing sections.



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Article I. NAME


The name of this organization is the Mental Health Statistics Section (hereafter, the
Section) of the American Statistical Association (hereafter, the Association).


Article II. OBJECTIVES


The

purpose of the Section is to serve Association members who have interests in the
development and application of statistical methods in mental health research. Specific
objectives include the following:

1.

To provide a forum for communication among statistic
ians who are interested in
mental health research;

2.

to facilitate the development and application of sound statistical methods for
mental health studies; and

3.

to promote career opportunities for statisticians in mental health research.

Article III. FUNCTIONS


To accomplish the objectives specified in Article II, the Section shall perform any or all
of the following functions, together with such others as are appropriate to its scope:


1.

Assist in the advancement of knowledge in mental health research, including

psychiatry, psychology, substance abuse research, and related fields, by fostering
wider and more effective use of statistical techniques.

2.

Plan and support scientific meetings, sessions, special seminars, workshops, and
continuing education activities on
mental health research.

3.

Establish and maintain liaison and collaboration with other Sections of the
Association and entities outside the Association
with interests

in mental health
research.

4.

Facilitate career development for statisticians in mental health
research through
mentoring and sharing of career and funding opportunities.

5.

Maintain a website and publish

a periodical newsletter to promote communication
and publicize Section activities.

6.

Sponsor and bestow

awards for meritorious contributions to mental

health
statistics and the activities of the Section.

7.

Identify and recruit new members to the Association and the Section from among
quantitative scientists with interests in mental health research.

8.

Aid, by whatever means are appropriate
, the general devel
opment of statistics,

mental health research, and
the Association.


Article IV. ORGANIZATION


1. Membership.
Membership in the Section shall include all full members of the
Association who pay the annual dues established by the Section. The membership year


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for each member of the section
shall coincide with that member’s

membership year in the
Association.


2. Dues.
The schedule of dues for the Section shall be set each year by the Executive
Committee.


3. Officers. Elected officers shall consist of the Chai
r, the Chair
-
Elect, the Past Chair, the
Program Chair, the Program Chair
-
Elect, and the Section’s Representative(s) on the
Council of Sections of the Association. Officers to be appointed by the Chair shall consist
of the Secretary/Treasurer, the Liaison O
fficer, the Communications Officer, and the
Education Officer. The elected and appointed officers listed above shall constitute the
Executive Committee of the Section.


4. Terms of Office. The term of office for the Chair and the Program Chair shall be one

year.
The Chair
-
Elect and the Program Chair
-
Elect shall automatically succeed the Chair
and the Program Chair, respectively, at the ends of their terms
. The Chair shall succeed
the Past Chair. No elected officer completing a full term shall be eligible f
or immediate
re
-
election to the same position. The terms of the Secretary/Treasurer, Liaison Officer,
Communications Officer, and Education Officer shall be for two years, and these officers
are eligible for re
-
appointment without limit. The term of office

and time of taking office
for the Section's Representative(s) on the Council of Sections are as provided by the
Charter of that Council.


5. Vacancy in Office. In case of a vacancy in the office of Chair or Program Chair, the
corresponding Officer
-
Elect
shall assume the position of the vacated Full Duty Officer. In
case of vacancy in the office of a Chair
-
Elect or Program Chair
-
Elect, the current Chair
will nominate a candidate subject to approval by a majority vote of the Executive
Committee of the Secti
on. The individual so chosen shall serve for the remainder of the
current term, with the Officer
-
Elect becoming the corresponding Full Duty Officer in the
succeeding year. Names of officers thus newly selected shall be announced in the next
issue of the Se
ction Newsletter.


6. Nomination and Election. The Past Chair shall serve as Chair of the Nominating
Committee. Voting shall be carried out as a part of the Association's annual elections, in
accordance with the rules for those elections.


7. Committees
. The Executive Committee may establish committees to carry out
specific functions for the Section.


8. Meetings.
The annual business meeting of the Section shall be held

in connection with
the annual
meeting of the Association and shall be announced in
advance
.
Further
business may also be conduc
ted by email or conference call
. An Executive Committee
m
eeting shall be held in conjunction with the
a
nnual
m
eeting

of the Association and shall
be announced to members of the Executive Committee in advance of

the Section
Business Meeting.

The Chair will convene additional meetings of the Executive
Committee as needed.

Between business meetings, the management of the affairs of the

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Section shall

be in the hands of the Executive Committee, subject to such stand
ing rules
as the business meeting shall from time to time provide.


Article V. AMENDMENTS


Amendments to this charter may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by a

petition signed by at least 25 current members of

the Section, provided that the
proced
ures specified in the Association’s Constitution and By
-
Laws have been followed.
A proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Coun
cil of Sections Governing Board
for review and then submitted to the Section’s members for

ratification. The ratification
v
ote by the Section’s members will be conducted in con
junction with the Association’s
annual election of officers.

If approved
by a majority of the members voting, the
amendment shall take effect immediately.