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 objectives are 2-fold: 1) to monitor, review, and evaluate the allocation and adequacy of behavioral health services in North Dakota; and 2) to meet federally mandated requirements.

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 (1) 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 and (2) serve as an advocate for individuals with mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, substance abuse and/or substance use disorders. 


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 not less than once each year 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 and provide feedback regarding stakeholder input to the Department of Human Services and the Governor’s Office.
  3. Review and provide feedback on applications for the Mental Health/Behavioral Health Block Grants and any related stakeholder input into such applications, at least semi-annually.
  4. May work with legislators to familiarize lawmakers with the need for appropriate mental health and substance use disorder services in accordance with agreed upon priorities of the Council.
  5. Develop and monitor Council goals and objectives for progress and outcomes, at least annually.
  6. Promote clear lines of communication between the Department of Human Services, the Governor’s office, and the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council.
  7. Serve as an advocate for system reforms that advance the interests of adults with serious mental illnesses, children with severe emotional disturbances, adults and children with substance use disorders, and other individuals with mental illnesses or emotional problems.

Section 3: Terms of council members and vacancies

The term of Council members 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 the date of their appointment and terminate on the same date three years thereafter.  There is an 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.

Section 4: Absences

If a council member has two (2) absences without giving notice to the point of contact prior to the meeting(s) in any one (1) year, the Chairperson will report to the Governor for recommendations as to the continuance of the individual as a member of the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council.

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 4 (four) meetings in any one (1) year. The exact day, time, and place shall be set by the Chairperson with Council members. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson of the Council or upon request of the majority of the Council. Public notice of a Council meeting, whether regular or special, must be made in accordance with State law. 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 Officers. Special meetings may be held in person, 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. The Council shall follow the current rules as described by the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office with respect to open meetings:  

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, and Immediate Past Chairperson.  The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be selected by the Council from its own membership. The Vice-Chairperson succeeds as the Chairperson while the Chairperson then serves as the Immediate Past Chair. The Chairperson shall serve for no more than a one (1) year term. No two (2) offices may be held by the same person concurrently.  The BHPC Facilitator 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 Vice-Chairperson and Executive Committee delegates shall be elected at the annual meeting. Any vacated Council offices shall be elected at the next scheduled meeting. 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 a vote of the Council.

Section 4: Duties of Officers

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 will represent the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council as requested by the members. The Vice-Chairperson or designee of the Chairperson shall take over position of Chairperson in the event of an absence.


Section 1: Executive Committee:  Shall be made up of not more than five (5) Council members which must include the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Immediate Past Chairperson, a consumer or family member representing mental health services, and a consumer or family member representing substance abuse services.