American Mental Health Counsellors Association (AMHCA)
The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) is the professional membership organization that represents the clinical mental health counselling profession (Amhcaorg, 2016). Clinical membership to AMHCA requires a master’s degree in counseling or a close related mental health field and adherence to AMHCA’s National standards for clinical practice. AMHCA is dedicated to training and cultivating excellent practitioners. AMHCA offers many different ways for counselors to improve their excellence in any field so as to be effective to the mental patients that need their assistance (Amhcaorg, 2016).
AMHCA uses the deontological ethics which is commonly referred to as the rule ethics. This is the type where the ethical duties are based on some set of rules that should be adhered to. It is sometimes described to as duties or obligations. In the healthcare sector, there are set rules in the constitution that should be followed by firms in that field. The firms in that case, will come up with some code of ethics for its employees that should be followed in order to conform to the set rules and laws in the constitution. The employees have an obligation to ensure that their practices are in line with the set laws that are set in the constitution to avoid any penalties that the firm may face if they fail to adhere to them. This code of ethics is used in a number of ways at AMHCA as will be discussed in the paper.
Commitment to clients
The primary responsibility in this case for mental health counselors is to respect the client’s autonomy, dignity, and promote his/her welfare. The counselor must adhere to this even if it takes a lot of time to get information from the client. The counselors should also let the client know the parameters of the counseling relationship. Short cuts may be used to get to information quickly but due to the code of ethics they are governed by, they are obligated to be patient enough and follow all the steps systematically as it is required.
The mental health counselors have a primary obligation to safeguard information about individuals that have received the course of the practice, teaching, or research (Bloch, 2009). Even when offered good money in exchange for the information, the counselors turn it down due to the ethics required in the field. They are required by law only to provide such information by court order. That is the only period that they can disclose such information. Confidentiality of client’s information is a major duty for any counselor in the firm.
Counselors are aware of the harms of exploitative relationships to clients (Amchaorg, 2016). The code of ethics actually requires the counselors to maintain respect for the clients and avoid actions that seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of the clients. The code of ethics actually warns them off from having any romantic or sexual relationships with the clients. There are laws in the health sector that discourage the exploitative relationship and actually the ethics in the firm ensure that the counselors adhere and conform to such rules.
The counselors are required by the code of ethics to give the rightful diagnosis that will help the client with the problem fully (Amhcaorg, 2016). Some counselors may give wrong diagnosis just to ensure that the business still runs so that patients will be coming back frequently to bring in more money. Such a practice is illegal according to the laws of the country and the ethics set are to ensure that the counselors conform to the laws fully.
The management has an obligation to ensure that the facility is always open to the clients at all times of the day. They should come up with an effective roaster to ensure that the institution is effective during day and night and that the staff are capable to attend to the clients. They should ensure that while at the institution, the clients are safe and feel comfortable.
The board of directors have an obligation of ensuring that the hospital has updated equipment and also make the management get the best mental counselors that will be of great help to the clients (Bloch, 2009). The ethics of maintaining high standards in the institutions makes the board of directors ensure that this is possible since the institution can be fined or even closed down if it does not offer high quality standard of work. The healthcare system has very strict laws regarding quality.
Commitment to other professionals
Mental health counselors act with due regard for the needs and feelings of their colleagues in counselling and other professions. The code of ethics set for the counselors make them obligated to respect the rights of the institutions of which they are associated with. They are not supposed to show any form of despise and should be honest in relaying information to ensure that there are smooth operations in the sectors.
Mental health counselors are also required to treat their fellow junior colleagues in the institution with utmost respect (Amhcaorg, 2016). They should adhere to the ways of operation set for all the staff in the hospital. They should not feel superior to go against the ways set. The set ethics in the institution actually make all workers to respect the rights of one another.
Mental health counselors may seek clinical consultation from a different health professional. This does not imply hierarchy for client outcome. This actually helps in giving the most accurate diagnosis to the client. This set of ethics ride on the saying; two heads are better than one. Such ethics helps the mental health counselor from giving wrongful diagnosis with slight errors that were overseen.
The management under this commitment are set to ensure that the workers get the best experience while working in the institution (Amhcaorg, 2016). They should have good roasters and flexible working hours for the counselors and they should not strain the them with too much work that can compromise the quality. Management should also organize out of work day activities like team building for employees in shifts in order to motivate them amore and make them feel appreciated as it will improve the quality of work in the institution.
The board of directors should invest more on modern equipment used in the field of mental healthcare that will help the counselors have the most accurate results. They should ensure that the institutions are at par with the technological changes that are observed in the world. This will make sure that the employees are fully equipped and ready to carry out their operations.
Commitment to the public
Mental health counselors have a moral, legal, and ethical responsibility to the community. The code of ethics require them to make public statements providing information about the availability of counselling products and services. They should ensure that there is no privacy in what the institution offers. The counselors here are obligated by transparency that should be practiced in the institution (Amhcaorg, 2016).
The management should enhance easy access to the institution by the public. They should also advertise to make the public know of the exact location of the institution. By doing this, they are conforming to the set ethics of non-discrimination in that, people are made aware of the institution.
The board of directors should make certain that the institution is run well to the satisfaction of the workers. They should make the institution conform to high integrity to ensure that all is available and working accordingly. The set ethics that the board runs on to guarantee this happens, helps the institution to observe the laws in the constitution.
Modifying existing code of ethics
I would introduce some mode of punishment for any employee or manager that goes against the set code of ethics (Organisation, 2010). They would be fined from their salaries and the money used in community projects. This would actually make them strict in conforming to the set rules since they would be keen on making mistakes that might cost them.
The employees and managers will resist this punishment by all means and they can even go ahead and carry out demonstrations internally (Organisation, 2010). This is because nobody desires being fined and most people are complacent to follow ethics since breaking them cannot incriminate you. This code of ethics will be very beneficial since the organization will have quality standards and also the reputation of the organization will be good to the public and the institution will avoid being penalized for not following the laws in the health sector.
Amhcaorg. (2016). Amhcaorg. Retrieved 13 April, 2016, from http://www.amhca.org/?page=codeofethics
Bloch, S., & Green, S. A. (2009). Psychiatric ethics.
Organisation, N. Z. N. (2010). Code of ethics. Wellington: NZNO.