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Florida Mental Health Counselors Association

The only organization in the State of Florida dedicated exclusively to meeting the professional needs of Florida's Licensed Mental Health Counselors

Welcome to Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, the leading organization advocating for mental health counseling professionals. Our objective is to provide education, legislative oversight, and networking. Our Annual Conference provides an opportunity for advanced professional training.

Protecting, sustaining, and advancing the profession of mental health counseling in the State of Florida is our guiding motto. We have served mental health counselors for more than 20 years, in a variety of professional ways. With the collaboration of our local chapters, individual members, and lobbyist, we have accumulated a record that demonstrates our dedication to your success as a mental health professional and the growth of our profession.

Click here for our Mission Statement

We invite you to contribute your efforts and encourage you to volunteer as there are numerous opportunities for you to get involved and make a difference. For more information on how to participate right away, contact our president Carlos Zalaquett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Welcome from your President...

Carlos Zalaquett, Ph.D., President 2013-2014

Welcome to FMHCA!

Today, our organization offers a solid representation of Mental Health Counselors in the State of Florida. In fact, we are the only organization that represents us statewide. We advocate for you but also protect you from legislative attempts to limit your well-earned scope of practice. FMHCA has successfully supported legislation to advance our profession and stopped initiatives threatening to limit the scope of our practice. Kudos to FMHCA and the Mixons for all they have done and are doing on our behalf!

We have a strong Board and Officers working on your behalf. From our monthly newsletter, to our conference, this core of volunteers collaborates with our administrative assistance to respond to the current demands of our field. Complementing all this and confirming our leading role in the advancement of mental health counseling’s theory, research, and practice, is FMHCA’s annual conference. Keynote speakers of the stature of Donald Meichenbaum, Allen Ivey, and Mary Bradford Ivey have graced the marquee of the last two conferences. Multiple presentations from qualified professionals informing about relevant practices in our field complemented the conference programs. Our upcoming conference advances all of the above and offers a cadre of leading experts and programs develop to advance your professional skills and effectiveness. I encourage you to attend our 2014 Annual Conference, February 7th to 8th, at the Orlando Marriot, in beautiful Lake Mary, Orlando Florida.

FMHCA is a great organization and I am honored to serve as its leader. I hope you are excited too and will continue your membership and encourage others to do the same.

The stronger we are, the stronger you are!

Your membership in FMHCA is fundamental. If you are a member, we thank you; if you are not, we encourage you to become one.

Your investment in FMHCA is worthwhile! Furthermore, your involvement with FMHCA’s initiatives is essential. Please contact me to join our many committees. I welcome your ideas and feedback about FMHCA, so please direct emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Look forward to working with all of you on behalf of our beloved organization.

Sincerely,

Carlos

Why we hired a lobbyist, and why this is good for you...

Our lobbyist is (a) an expert in examining complex and difficult legislative issues, (b) capable to translate such issues in a clear and understandable fashion that we can understand, (c) listens to our responses and goals relative to those issues, (d) works as an advocate on behalf of FMHCA, (d) engages in discussion with members of other sister organizations, legislators, and other governmental stakeholders, (e) made us aware of legislation that can limit our professional scope of practice, (f) takes action to stop legislation that may infringe in our well-earned scope of practice, (g) explicates the reasons for our positions and advocate for our rights, and (h) works on expanding our professional practice and goals. 

Our members often underestimate how much we are impacted by new legislative efforts but new legislation is being introduced every day!

New legislation could negatively or positively affect your practice, reimbursement, and acceptance on different areas of mental health services and beyond. Without our lobbyist we will be at the mercy of newly introduced legislation and of those who introduced them.

So what is in it for me you may ask? As president I can give a well-informed response. Protection of your well-earned professional practice, expansion of your scope of practice in the State of Florida, and work on your behalf to increase future coverage. In sum, hiring our lobbyist is in your best interest and in the best interest of your organization. Furthermore, it is a major investment in your and our future!

By joining FMHCA you are de facto supporting our best efforts at protection, sustainability, and growth!

The Mixons are our lobbyists working with us to protect everything you have worked for and to create a better future.

Click on the “Legislative Update” link to read about them and the work they do on your behalf.

Carlos Zalaquett, Ph.D.

President 2013 - 2014

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Board Members

Carlos Zalaquet - President
Carlos Zalaquet - President
Board Members
Elvis Lester - Past President
Elvis Lester - Past President
Board Members
Darlene Silvernail - President-Elect
Darlene Silvernail - President-Elect
Board Members
Norman Hoffman - Treasurer
Norman Hoffman - Treasurer
Board Members
Kathie  Erwin, Ed.D., LMHC - Secretary
Kathie Erwin, Ed.D., LMHC - Secretary
Board Members
Joe  Skelly, M.S., LMHC - Member At-Large
Joe Skelly, M.S., LMHC - Member At-Large
Board Members
Bob Decker, PhD, NCC, LMHC - Member At-Large
Bob Decker, PhD, NCC, LMHC - Member At-Large
Board Members
Frank Hannah, MS, LMHC - Parliamentarian
Frank Hannah, MS, LMHC - Parliamentarian
Board Members