Member Sections of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) play an important role in engaging members of the organisation, promoting mental health and wellbeing and its diversity, and educating the public about issues in mental health.
This policy is to be read in conjunction with the WFMH Bylaws and the Sections document of December 2020 and will come into effect with the WFMH 2021-2023 Board Cycle.
The WFMH’s Sections document advises that all topics of interest in the field of mental health advocacy are considered and established by the members of Section.
The objectives of the Sections are to:
Members of each Section will apply to the WFMH Section Committee for approval to establish the proposed section.
The WFMH Section Committee comprises:
The President shall be an ex-officio member of this Committee.
The Committee will review all applications and will accept or reject applications.
Section Members shall be committed WFMH Members or represent a WFMH Member Organisation and maintain principles and each Section will uphold the following:
Members of the Section will develop a Plan of Action for their Section.
The Plan of Action is to:
Section Members are to receive a copy of this Policy upon joining a Section.
Section Members agree to:
The WFMH understands that as a volunteer organisation Section Members may not be able to attend all meetings or contribute to Section activities. Members who have not been active with a Section for greater than one year and who have not advised the Chair of their discontinuation will be removed from the list of Members names on the WFMH website.
Members will make decisions ethically as a group and have a single voice on issues once decisions have been made. Members will draw on expert advice and encourage robust debate in reaching its decisions. As far as possible, Members will reach decisions by consensus but where this is not achievable or efficient a majority decision will be carried forward with the voice of each Member having equal weight.
For the proposal of a new Section or maintenance of an existing Section there must be a minimum of six active Members.
The Secretariat will support, if requested, the election of Officers of the Sections.
The membership of a Section is for two years, aligned with the terms of office of the newly elected WFMH Board. All members can submit their preference for re-joining a Section every two years once the Section is approved. The Section positions of Chair, Co-Chair and Secretary are for two years with the possibility of one further term.
The Members of the Section will elect the Section Chair, Section Co-Chair and Section Secretary.
A quorum for all Section meetings, determining activities, the development or review of the Plans of Action and decisions shall be 50% +1 in attendance of the Section Members.
Responsibilities of each position are as follows:
All Section meetings will have an agenda and result in an agreed record of decisions and/or actions.
Communication with and between Members is encouraged. Specific request for information may be sent by the Chair, Co-Chair or Secretary, as determined by the group.
Emails to Members will be clear, conciliatory and concise with clearly identified requests, will abide by rules of email etiquette and have an appropriate timeframe for response. Members are expected to respond timeously to emails and all requests.
Any materials sent outside of meetings, for example draft documents for review must clearly state this in the email subject line with the deadline provided.
The Chair, or Co-Chair as delegate is responsible for the direct contact with the Secretary General and the President of WFMH. The Secretary General will then include other Board members or stakeholders as deemed appropriate.
It is preferred that a single email with all items or issues for consideration are listed, with any proposed recommendations and specific timeframe provided.
Sections will follow the internationally recognised dispute resolution guidelines and process. These are:
WFMH asserts legal and beneficial ownership rights over all intellectual property of its materials and documentation. WFMH may assign its rights, title and interests in intellectual property owned by it to third parties, where relevant.
An item written by a member author is the opinion of that author but does not automatically reflect the opinion of the organization.
A breach may constitute a criminal act under legislation and could also be subject to civil action by an individual or group.
This policy will be reviewed and amended every two years line with WFMH election cycle. or as required.
Suggested Section Agenda Template
Meeting type: Face to face / online
If online provide joining link:
 Refer to the WFMH Webinar Policy for specific information on the development, implementation and processes for webinars on behalf of the WFMH.
 Good governance principles require Section Members to operate within a culture of disclosure, recognition and active management of conflicts as they arise to ensure transparency, accountability, ethical behaviour and sound decision making.