Updated Wellness Center By-Laws

What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.
The Wellness Centers in Orange County (Central, South and West) each have a Member Advisory Board (MAB). Each MAB has a set of by-laws. These by-laws need a successor upgrade.

As written, the MAB by-laws suffer from the standard issues of by-laws in any committee – inconsistent use of nouns, scattered requirements for a particular topic across several sections and lack of requirements flow down from contracts.

However, these by-laws suffer from a major issue: the inability to pass paper. There is no mechanism in the by-laws for written bills nor written resolutions to be voted on. Instead, everything is done verbally with a consensus approval process.

Imagine trying to run a committee in an era pre-writing. No written documents, just verbal discussions to attempt to lead.

Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?
Orange County invests Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) dollars into client/member-driven programs. If the member-driven programs aren’t given the tools available (i.e. writing and the current state of committee tools) then these member-driven programs aren’t able to communicate effectively.

What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?
Unknown.

What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.
Providing updated by-laws that allow for written bills, resolutions, voting on written bills/resolutions and other existing tools for committees would be an innovation over what currently exists. See Wellness Center by-laws (private documents) for the current status of the by-laws

What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.
Update the by-laws at Wellness Centers in Orange County to enable the written expression of wants/needs/desires and more clearly organize MABs to run member-driven programs more effectively with all the tools modern committees have at their disposal (i.e. bills, resolutions, ex-officio members, amendments, voting on bills/resolutions written on paper).

Additionally, the non-discrimination clause of the MAB by-laws requires non-discrimination based upon language and disability, among other classes. It would be appreciated if the County Contracts for the Wellness Centers be translated into languages represented by membership, the by-laws be translated into languages represented by membership and methods to accommodate people with severe disability (i.e. learning disability with a 3rd-grade capacity, inability to concentrate, inability to write, inability to read, inability to see, etc).

Thank you for helping address this significant and current issue.

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November 8, 2019

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