Advisory Council: By-Laws


The name of the organization shall be the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as “the Council”).


The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council shall be an independent, non-partisan, voluntary group of individuals, organizations, and agencies (public and private) who promote community awareness of the signs of suicide and intervention strategies for the prevention of suicide.

The Council’s goal is to coordinate implementation of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Strategy, based on the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

The Council will work to support and accomplish the following strategies:

  • Promote awareness that suicide is a public health problem that is preventable.
  • Develop broad-based support for suicide prevention.
  • Develop & implement strategies to reduce the stigma associated with being a consumer of mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention services.
  • Develop and implement suicide prevention programs.
  • Promote efforts to reduce easy access to self-harm or suicide.
  • Implement training for recognition of at-risk behavior and delivery of effective treatment.
  • Develop and promote effective clinical and professional practices.
  • Improve access to and community linkages with mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Improve reporting and portrayals of suicidal behavior, mental illness, and substance abuse in the entertainment and news media.
  • Promote and support research on suicide and suicide prevention.


All Council powers shall be exercised by or under the authority of the Council membership, and all the business and affairs of the Council shall be managed under the direction of the membership.

The membership shall consist of survivors, attempters, private health care professionals, clergy, teachers, correctional workers, family members, nursing home workers, day care workers and advocates. Each of the seven regions should have up to or no more than three people that represent their regions as voting members.

The membership of the Council may include appointments of representatives to serve as ex-officio from the following Departments.

  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
  • Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability
  • Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth
  • Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
  • Tennessee Department of Correction
  • Tennessee Department of Education
  • Tennessee Department of Health
  • Tennessee Department of Human Resources
  • Tennessee Department of Human Services
  • Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • Tennessee Department of Veterans Services
  • Tennessee National Guard

The Council shall strive to promote cultural and geographic diversity within the membership.

Nomination of Membership and Officers
The Nominating Committee shall have the responsibility to make nominations for the Council membership and slate of officers. The Council Chair shall appoint the Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee Chair shall select a Nominating Committee, which will include a Council member from each of the eight regions. Not more than one Nominating Committee member shall be chosen from each region.

At the Council Chair’s discretion, the members of the Executive Committee may serve as the Nominating Committee.

Election of Officers and Membership
Nominations may be received from the floor. The slate of nominees will be recommended to the Governor of Tennessee or his designee, Commissioner of the Tennessee Executive Branch that is responsible for mental health services/public health for appointment to the Council.

Council members will be appointed for a two-year term beginning on October of each year. There is no limit to the number of terms a Council member may serve.

Council Meetings Time
The Council meetings shall be held three times yearly:

  • On the second Wednesday in February
  • During the annual retreat in June (as funding permits)
  • Following the Suicide Prevention Awareness Day event, customarily held on the second Wednesday in September

Special Meetings of the Council
Special meetings of the Council may be called by the Chair or Co-Chair. Special meetings must be preceded by at least ten days notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting, mailed to each officer and Council member, or said information communicated by telephone or electronically.

Voting members shall include representatives of the regional groups as stated above. The affirmative vote of the eligible voting members present is the act of the Council. A member who is present at a meeting of the council when Council action is taken is deemed to have assented to such action, unless; 1) such member objects at the beginning of the meeting (or promptly upon arrival) to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting or, 2) such member’s dissent or abstention from the action taken is entered in the minutes of the meeting. All recommendations shall be by majority vote.

Only the three (3) appointed members of each regional network have voting privileges, as do members of the Emeritus Group. Regional alternates may not vote.

A member may resign at any time by delivering written notice to the Council, the Chair, or the Executive Director. A resignation is effective when the notice is delivered unless the notice specifies a later effective date.

Any vacancy on the Council for any cause shall be filled for the unexpired term by vote of the council at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council.

Any member who misses two (2) consecutive meetings without good cause may be subject to termination.


The officers of the Council shall be the Chair, Co-Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.

An officer may resign at any time by delivering written notice to the Council. Such resignation is effective when such notice is delivered unless notice specifies a later effective date.

Any vacancy in an office for any cause may be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by vote of the Council at the next scheduled Council meeting.

Alternately, the Council Chair may appoint another Council member not on the Executive Committee to fill the vacancy, with the approval of the rest of the Council

Duties of the Chair
The Chair shall facilitate all Council meetings. The Chair may attend Committee meetings in an advisory, non-voting capacity.

Duties of the Co-Chair
The Co-Chair shall be an active executive officer of the Council, shall assist the Chair by facilitating meetings in the absence of the chair, and shall perform such other duties as the Council may from time to time prescribe. The Co-Chair may attend committee meetings in an advisory, non-voting capacity.

Duties of the Vice-Chair
The Vice-Chair shall attend all meetings of the Council and the Executive Committee and shall oversee outreach and strategic planning related to Network projects. The Vice-Chair shall perform such other duties incident to the office of Secretary as prescribed from time to time by the Council.

Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Council and the Executive Committee and shall approve all minutes of such meetings. The Secretary shall perform such other duties incident to the office of Secretary as prescribed from time to time by the Council.

The term of office of all officers shall be one (1) year beginning October 1 of each year. An officer may be re-elected for one (1) consecutive, one-year term.


Executive Committees
The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers and the Executive Director.

The immediate past Chair of the Council may serve on the Executive Committee in a non-voting capacity.

The Executive Committee shall conduct necessary business of the Council between semi-annual meetings.

Appointment of Committees
There shall be such standing and special committees as the Advisory Council may from time to time determine, or as shall be appointed by the Chair and the Statewide Suicide Prevention Network Director.


Term Year
The term year of the Council shall be October 1 through September 30 of each year.

Amendments maybe recommended at any regularly scheduled meeting of the Council by the membership by majority vote provided that the proposed amendment(s) have been mailed to all members fourteen days in advance of the meeting.

Parliamentary Authority
Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall be observed in meetings of the Council.

DRAFT: September 2001
COUNCIL Approved: September 26, 2001
Governor’s Approved: September 28, 2001
Effective Date: October 1, 2001
Revised June 8, 2017
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