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North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council

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North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council By-Laws

Under the mandate outlined in Public Law 102-321 (42 U.S.C 300X-4), a thirty member board, known as the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council was created with members appointed by the Governor of North Dakota.

The council's objective is to monitor, review, and evaluate the allocation and adequacy of behavioral health services in North Dakota.

Each board member is appointed to a three-year term and not less than 50% of the board is composed of individuals other than state employees and providers of behavioral health services and substance abuse services.

The By-Laws


The name of the council shall be the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council.


Public Law 102-321


To provide advice and consultation to the Governor of the State of North Dakota regarding the overall administration and service delivery of mental health and substance abuse services.


Section 1: The North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council shall consist of thirty (30) members, who shall be appointed by the Governor. Members of the council shall be represented in the following manner:

Residents of the State, including representatives of the principle State agencies with respect to mental health and substance abuse, education, vocational rehabilitation, criminal justice, housing, Medicaid, and social services; public and private entities concerned with the need, planning, operation, funding, and use of mental health and substance abuse services and related support services; the National Guard; veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and families of such veterans; youth mental health or substance abuse consumers; adults with serious mental illnesses and those with substance use disorders who are receiving (or have received) mental health or substance abuse services; and the families of such adults or families of children with emotional disturbances. 

The ratio of parents of children with a serious emotional disturbance to other members of the Council shall be sufficient to provide adequate representation of such children in the deliberations of the Council; and not less than 50 percent of the members of the Council are individuals who are not State employees or providers of mental health and substance abuse services.

Section 2: Duties

  1. Review and evaluate services and programs provided by the State of North Dakota and make periodic reports to the Department of Human Services and the Governor’s office, including any recommendations for improvements in services, programs, or facilities.
  2. Review the status of combined behavioral health assessments and plan, staff  resources, expenditure of funds and available case management information at least semi-annually.  Review the combined behavioral health assessment and plan at least annually.
  3. Work with legislators in members’ respective regions to familiarize lawmakers with the need for appropriate mental health and substance abuse issues.
  4. Recommend the initiation of surveys of regional human service needs and review the results of such surveys for the purpose of recommending to the Department of Human Services ways in which identified needs can be met by the Department of Human Services.
  5. Serve as the State forum for meetings with governing boards of other public and private human service agencies that are brought to the council by the Department of Human Services for the purpose of promoting greater understanding, efficiency and effectiveness in the working relationships among local and regional service providers.
  6. Review the progress in the development and monitoring of the goals and objectives of the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
  7. Promote clear lines of communication between the Department of Human Services, the Governor’s office, and the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council.
  8. Review and recommend policies and procedures of the Department of Human Services to the Department of Human Services and Governor.
  9. Review the various certifications and licensing standards and assist in evaluating the Department of Human Services compliance.
  10. Serve as an advocate for adults with serious mental illnesses, children with severe emotional disturbances, adults with substance use disorders, and children with substance use disorders and other individuals with mental illnesses, emotional problems, or substance use disorders.

Section 3: Terms of council members and vacancies

The term of offices shall be three (3) years. Vacancies occurring on the Council for other than an expiration of a term shall be filled by an appointment from the Governor. The term of each council member shall commence on July 1 of a given year and terminate on June 30 three years thereafter, with the exception that an appointment to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term. Members may be reappointed by the Governor. Terms shall be staggered. There will be no term limits.

Section 4: Absences

If a council member has two (2) consecutive unexcused absences in any one (1) year, the Chairperson will report to the Governor for recommendations as to the continuance of the individual to be a member of the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council. The term “unexcused” means no contact has been made with the Chairperson or the Division indicating an absence will occur.

Section 5: Compensation

Members of the Council shall be compensated for per diem and travel, at the rate of state employees, for Council and committee meetings as approved by the Chairperson. Members of the Council who are consumers or family members shall be provided an honorarium of $150.00 for Council meetings as approved by the Chairperson and shall be reimbursed for childcare expenses.

Section 6: Meetings

The Council shall have at least two (2) meetings in any one (1) year. The exact day, time, and place shall be set by the Chairperson in consultation with the liaison staff at the Behavioral Health Division . Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson of the Council or upon request of the majority of the Council. Written notice of a Council meeting, whether regular or special, must be mailed to all Council Members and other appropriate State departments and agencies at least thirty (30) days before the meeting date. The annual meeting of the council shall be held during the month of October each year, the exact date, time, and place to be set by the Chairperson, for the purpose of electing the Council Chair, reading of annual reports, and transacting such other business as may come before the Council. Notice to the public of all meetings will be made one (1) month prior to the scheduled meeting time. Special meetings may be held via teleconference or video conference.

Section 7: Quorum

A simple majority of the duly appointed members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Meetings for discussion and reporting may be held without a quorum present, at the discretion of the Council Chairperson. A vote may follow via telephone, mail, or e-mail so long as a detailed description of the matter at issue is provided to all Council members prior to voting.

Section 8: Alternates; Abstention

There shall be no proxies for meetings of the Council. However, state employees and members of advocacy organizations who are designated as members by virtue of their office or advocacy organization representation may appoint a designated alternate to attend meetings in their stead, and such alternate may cast a vote. No Council member may abstain in any matter not involving a conflict of interest for that member, and all non-voting members who do not declare a conflict shall be counted as affirmative votes.

Section 9: Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by the Bylaws of the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council.


Section 1: Number

The officers of the Council shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, each of whom shall be selected by the Council from its own membership. The Chairperson shall serve no more than two (2) consecutive one (1) year terms. No two (2) offices may be held by the same person concurrently. The Division Liaison from the Behavioral Health Division shall take minutes and submit to the Officers for approval before submitting to the full Council membership for approval.

Section 2: Election and term of office

The officers of the Council shall be elected annually at the annual meeting. If the election of officers is not held at that meeting, the election shall be held as soon thereafter as is convenient. Each officer shall hold office until his/her successor has been duly elected and qualified, or until his/her death, resignation, or removal as hereafter provided.

Section 3: Removal

Any officer or agent elected or appointed by the Council may be removed by the Governor of the State of North Dakota whenever, in his/her judgment, the best interests of the Council would be served thereby.

Section 4: Vacancies

A vacancy in office, because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or otherwise, shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the term.

Section 5: Powers and terms

The powers and duties of the officers shall be as provided from time to time by resolution or other directive of the Council. The Chairperson shall serve as advisor to the Department of Human Services and the Governor and will represent the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council as requested by the members. The Vice-Chairperson shall take over position of Chairperson in the event of an absence. The Chairperson’s duties shall include chairing the meetings, and preparing the agenda for the meetings.


Section 1: Executive Committee: Shall be made up of not more than six (6) members which must include the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, immediate past Chairperson, a consumer of mental health services, a consumer of substance abuse services, and a member at large. This committee shall be charged with reviewing the bylaws and making recommendations to the Council. This committee has the authority to act on behalf of the Council during interim periods.

Section 2: Committees shall be appointed by the Chairperson as the Council deems necessary to carry on its work. The Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of all other committees.


These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Council, provided that thirty (30) days written notice of such meetings be given to all members of the Council and that the notice contain the text of any suggested amendments.



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