Section 11. There shall be a mental health advisory council consisting of fifteen persons to be appointed by the secretary of health and human services, with the approval of the governor, eight of whom shall be members of community mental health area boards, and of the remaining seven, one shall be a professional in the field of children’s mental health and at least four shall be appointed to represent one of the following professions and groups: state level medical, psychological, nursing, educational, social work, occupational therapy, or bar associations, associations for mental health, industrial and labor groups and the clergy. Upon the expiration of the term of office of any member, his successor shall be appointed for a term of three years. No member shall be appointed to serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. The councils shall elect a chairman annually. The council shall serve without compensation, but each member shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth for all expenses incurred in the performance of his official duties.
Said advisory council shall have the following duties:
(a) It shall advise the commissioner on policy, program development, and priorities of need in the commonwealth for comprehensive programs in mental health;
(b) It shall participate with the department in holding a regular series of public hearings throughout the commonwealth to obtain the views of the area boards and other citizens concerning the programs of the department and the needs of the people for mental health services;
(c) It shall review the annual plans and the proposed annual budget of the department, and shall make recommendations to the commissioner in regard thereto;
(d) It shall hold at least three meetings per year and shall convene special meetings at the call of the chairman of the council, a majority of the council, or the commissioner.