WMHC Code of Conduct

Table of Contents

Ways to Be Involved

Fundamentals of Our Code of Conduct

Seeking Providers or Resources

Making Announcements/Sharing Written Resources

Webinars & In-Person Events: Interacting With Speakers

Our Public Provider Directory

Violations of This Code of Conduct

Ways To Be Involved

WMHC is, at heart, a volunteer-run organization. We are clinician members who donate our time to make this organization run. As you can imagine, with 900+ members, we are busy both behind the scenes and in visible ways. Please allow us up to two weeks to respond to inquiries, though we try to respond sooner. We are working together to make this organization a strong support for our members, and we encourage you to volunteer in some capacity, beyond using the email platform. Here are ways to be involved, and help foster and benefit from community:

  1. Respond to WMHC surveys.
  2. Vote in WMHC surveys, polls and, for Governing Members, WMHC by-law amendments and elections for Board of Directors, as well as other matters.
  3. Volunteer to help at an in-person event or for digital matters. Keep an eye out for emails from us requesting volunteers.
  4. Serve on a committee; information about our committees can be found here.
  5. Start or participate in an in-person or virtual meet-up of WMHC members in your geographic area, of clinicians with similar specialties, modalities, interests, or other common themes.
  6. Help us secure a restaurant or event space at a discount for our in-person events. (If you know someone who is in a position to offer us a discount, please let us know!)
  7. Mentor a less experienced member, or one wanting to learn more about a specialty of yours (e.g., clinical, financial, administrative).
  8. Volunteer with the WMHC Grant recipients’ organizations; information about WMHC Grants can be found here.

If you have ideas for volunteering that are not listed above, we’d love to hear it! Please let us know your ideas at contact@wmhcny.org and we’ll get back to you.

Fundamentals: Respect

Our Code of Conduct serves as a guide for how we engage with each other and people invited into our community, such as speakers. This Code of Conduct is available online under the About tab on the WMHC website. As part of the application and renewal processes, members are asked to familiarize themselves with and affirm this Code of Conduct. Please note: Actions that are inconsistent with the Code are considered to be violations of the Code.

  • Members are valuable resources to each other. Please be respectful and courteous when interacting with members, whether you are initiating or responding to an email, meeting in person, on video or on the phone. We can disagree with each other with respect.
  • Please read all emails from the WMHC Board. For these emails, the beginning of the subject heading is WMHC Board of Directors.
  • Contacting Members with Concerns: If you have a concern with a member, please respond privately and directly to that member with courtesy and respect. Please use your clinical skills to ensure constructive discourse and dialogue.
  • Contacting Board of Directors with Concerns: If you have a comment or concern about the organization, please respond directly to us: contact@wmhcny.org. We will address your concerns confidentially as soon as we can. (As a volunteer-run organization we appreciate your patience.)
  • Your membership is only for you. We appreciate members refraining from sharing your login credentials with other colleagues or individuals associated with your practice. Thus, please do not let other people use your login credentials. If you do so, your membership may be revoked, unless you have difficulty using your account without such assistance. Please see the section on Violations of This Code of Conduct.
  • Limit unnecessary emails to members: Become familiar with our Email Categories.  Pick the category from the dropdown menu that is the best fit before composing your email. This ensures the email goes only to members who want to receive that type of email.

In addition to the Code of Conduct, members should adhere to their discipline’s ethical principles and code of conduct.

Additional Fundamentals If You Are in a Group Practice:

  • We welcome members who are in a group practice. Please note: Only the individual WMHC member may use member benefits. This includes using the email platform. Administrators of the group practice (or anyone else in your group practice) should not be given your login credentials. Your membership may be revoked for sharing login credentials. Please see the section on Violations of This Code of Conduct.
  • Members in a group practice may, of course, refer to specific clinicians in their group practice who match the requested demographic characteristics. Please do not refer to the group practice generally. As with all responses to referral requests, please explain why the person you are recommending is a good match. (See Responding to a Referral Request, below.) For transparency’s sake, please make explicit that you are referring to someone within your group practice, so as to make clear any perceived conflict of interest.
  • To make it easier for the member who requested the referral to figure out fit, if you are referring to a limited practice clinician, please state this.

Seeking Providers or Resources

Making a Provider Request

  • Please be as specific as possible in the subject line of your emails to save other members time in opening them.  Please see the list of common definitions, below (Responding to a Provider Request), so that we can all share the same understanding of words and phrases used in the post.
  • The subject heading should include each of the following elements:
    1. Specific insurance and / or fee info (i.e., OON full fee / sliding fee. If you know the exact amount the person can pay, please include (i.e. max $100)
    2. In-person, neighborhood and / or virtual, and state (for license, unless neighborhood is specified)
    3. Modality (e.g., individual / couple / group); the default assumption is individual therapy unless specified
    4. Issue / symptom
    5. Type of clinician / specialty (if referral request specifies)
    6. Days/times (if referral request specifies)
    7. Any other necessary specifics
  • Examples:
    • ISO Aetna, in-person Gramercy Park, depression
    • ISO $200 max, virtual or UW Side, couples, infidelity, EFT pref’d
    • ISO Full fee, Park Slope, family tx for addictions, male preferred
    • ISO United, virtual, NY, psychiatry, exp with bi-polar required
    • ISO mod fee, virtual, NJ group for trauma, seasoned clinicians only
  • Note that if you say mention a specific insurance AND OON (“for a good fit”) you will likely get many responses.

  • Please make each provider request in a separate email so that the subject heading is specific and informative (e.g., does not say “Seeking two providers”).

Responding to a Provider Request

  • Help limit unnecessary emails to members’ inboxes; Respond directly to the member only by hitting “Reply” in your email browser or,
  • We want to make each response to a request useful. When you are replying to a member who is looking to make a recomendation, please pay attention to the details of what type of provider is being requested (e.g., location, level of experience, etc.) and respond accordingly. Please also explain in a sentence or two why you or the person you are suggesting is a good fit for the request. This information will better helembers understand the recommendations.
  • To make sure we all have the same understanding, please use these definitions of common terms:
    • In Person: This is not virtual; it means that therapist and client are in the same physical room at the same time, sometimes referred to as co-located. This is the type of therapy most of us did before COVID.
    • Virtual: This means you are not co-located—you are in different locations and speak to each other by phone or video.
    • In Network with a specific health insurance: This means that the provider has an active contract with the specific health plan and bills that health plan directly.
    • Out of Network: This means that the provider is paid directly by the patient, not through insurance, and the patient may or may not be reimbursed, depending on the specifics of the plan.
    • Seasoned Provider: We are specifying this as having 20+ years of clinical experience. Thus, it is not based on the provider’s age, but rather on how long the provider has been in practice. If the provider’s age is relevant, please specify that in a post.
    • Specific Location: When a post mentions a specific location, please do not recommend a provider who is not in that location. For instance, if a post requests an Upper West Side provider for in-person, responses should only be for such providers, not for midtown, Upper East Side, etc.
    • Specific Type of Provider: If the request is for a particular type of provider, please only respond if you—or the person you recommend—is that type of provider. For instance, if the request is for an ACT provider and you do CBT but not ACT, please don’t recommend yourself.
    • Licensed Provider: If the request is for a licensed or seasoned provider, please DO NOT recommend a limited practice provider.
  • If a non-member’s clinical practice is a good fit for a provider request, feel free to recommend the practice to the member who made the provider request, but only if the recommendations follow the rules outlined above (Responding to a Provider Request).

Transparency About Financial Interests

  • We all want to trust recommendations we receive from each other. If you share a resource (e.g., specialty group practice, member of your group practice, app, vendor, product, or service) in which you have a financial interest, please make that financial interest clear in the email so members can fully understand the context of your recommendation.
  • Please do not refer to a group practice generally, unless it is a specialty practice.
  • For transparency’s sake, if you are referring to someone within your group practice, please say that so as to make clear any perceived conflict of interest.

Receiving Provider Suggestions Based on Your Provider Request

  • You are responsible for vetting the providers that are recommended to you.

Questions or Concerns About a provider request or Email

  • If you have a question or concern about a member’s recommendation, please address it with the member directly, respectfully and confidentially. If your attempt to resolve the concern informally is ineffective, please contact the Board of Directors at contact@wmhcny.org. We will do our best to help find a reasonable resolution.
  • If an email through the WMHC systems seems inappropriate in some way, you can flag it by clicking on the “Flag” button at the bottom of the email, which will alert us to the email in question. Please do not click on the Spam button in your email system, as it will prevent you from receiving future WMHC emails.

Making Announcements/Sharing Written Resources

  • We encourage members to share information about professional trainings and workshops, or new consultation groups, or new therapy groups forming in YOUR practice. Use the email category Info About Professional Trainings Workshops, or Group Therapy. This category is not to be used for self promotion except as listed above.  Announcements may be made only one time.
  • We encourage members to solicit recommendations and share resources. You can do that by using the category Seeking/Offering /Written or Online Resources or Recommendations. Note that we have a Resource Page for clinical resources for therapists and clients (see the WMHC About tab); if you have suggestions for resources we can add to it, please let us know.
  • All announcements made can be posted only one time.  You may not post subsequent notices about openings, ie “one spot left.”
  • If you post about a product or service in which you have a financial interest, please make that financial interest (i.e., your relationship to the product, service, company) explicit so that the member can understand the context of your recommendation..  If you respond to a member’s post suggesting a product or service in which you have financial interest, please make that financial interest explicit so that the member can understand the context of your recommendation.
  • Please do not post announcements about:
    • non-members’ or your clinical practices, including general information about or new services in your clinical practice or,
    • openings in your practice.
  • You are always welcome to respond to members who are in ISO a particular type of provider and you or the person you suggest meets all of the request categories of clinician and expertise.

Webinars & In-Person Events: Interacting With Speakers

WMHC provides opportunities for professional development to its members. Our Education Committee works hard to identify diverse topics and presenters who bring a variety of perspectives to our members. The committee does its due diligence to vet these presenters and recognizes that not everyone will agree on all perspectives and practices. We want to foster healthy dialogue and discourse. Please provide the same level of professional courtesy to our speakers that you would want for yourself.

  • Members shall behave ethically and respectfully towards the esteemed colleagues we invite to speak to our community for webinars, trainings and in-person events.
  • When members ask questions or raise different points of view during the Question and Answer segment of live presentations, they shall do so respectfully. Emailing presenters with respectful follow-up questions or concerns is, of course, part of collegial dialogue. However, it is inappropriate to contact presenters with complaints or challenges about aspects of their presentation.
  • Please contact us at contact@wmhcny.org with any concerns about a presenter’s conduct, material, or licensing status. Please note that if we are providing CE units, it is because our CE provider, R Cassidy, has determined that the speakers’ credentials and presentation conform to the required standards for the topic they are presenting.
  • Our members have diverse areas of expertise. Quite a few members have offered to present WMHC webinars and the Board greatly appreciates their generosity. The Education Committee has decided, however, to make members ineligible to present. This is to avoid any conflict of interest, unnecessary competition or favoritism. Any clinician affiliated with a member’s group practice is also ineligible. Only non-WMHC members may be a presenter.

Our Public Provider Directory

  • About the Directory: Members are responsible for providing accurate and up to date information on their profiles. Only complete profiles will be listed in our public provider directory. That is, all fields of your profile must be completed, such as uploading a photograph or image (e.g., practice logo) and contact information (i.e., phone number and email address) to be listed in the directory.
  • License Requirement: You must have a current and valid license as a mental health practitioner in NY, NJ or CT to remain a WMHC Member.
  • No Marketing: Members’ email addresses should NOT be collected and used for marketing purposes. We don’t want our members to be spammed. Using our email addresses for marketing purposes may result in revocation of membership.

Violations of This Code of Conduct

We want to foster helpful and respectful engagement among members, and help members become better WMHC citizens; our primary goal is thus education. When there is a violation, the first step is notification and reminders about the Code of Conduct; in rare cases additional steps may be taken.

  • Members who violate any of this Code of Conduct the first time, as determined by a simple majority of a quorum of the Board, may receive a phone call or email from the Board about the violation as well as a reminder of the specific aspect of the Code violated, and any consequences of that violation and, when relevant, any further violations. In extremely rare cases, after talking with the member about the violation, membership may be revoked, as decided by a simple majority of a quorum of the Board. Such members may have their membership permanently revoked, with no opportunity to rejoin, as determined by the Board at its sole discretion.
  • Members who violate any of this Code of Conduct (not necessarily the same type as the one previously violated) for the second time, as determined by a simple majority of a quorum of the Board, may receive a phone call or email from the Board requesting an explanation about the violation. Members with a second violation may receive a warning that further violations will result in revocation of membership or, in extremely rare cases, that the second violation itself may result in revocation of membership, as decided by a simple majority of a quorum of the Board. Such members may have their membership permanently revoked, with no opportunity to rejoin, as determined by the Board at its sole discretion.
  • Members who violate any of this Code of Conduct (not necessarily the same types as the one[s] previously violated) for the third time, as determined by a simple majority of quorum of the Board, may receive a phone call or email from the Board and may have certain consequences; in extremely rare cases, their membership may be permanently revoked, with no opportunity to rejoin, as determined by the Board at its sole discretion.
  • Membership can be revoked both with cause and without cause at the discretion of the Board of Directors.