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AB-662 Mental health: dispatch and response protocols: working group.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/28/2021 09:00 PM
AB662:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 28, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 21, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 662


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 12, 2021


An act to add Section 1797.119 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to mental health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 662, as amended, Rodriguez. Mental health: dispatch and response protocols: working group.
Existing law, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, provides for the involuntary commitment and treatment of persons with specified mental disorders. Under the act, when a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to self or others, or gravely disabled, the person may, upon probable cause, be taken into custody by specified individuals, including by a peace officer, and placed in a facility designated by the county and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services for up to 72 hours for evaluation and treatment.
Existing law requires specified categories of law enforcement officers to meet training standards pursuant to courses of training certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Existing law requires POST to include in its basic training course adequate instruction in the handling of persons with mental illness and to establish and keep updated a continuing education classroom training course and a field training officer course relating to law enforcement interaction with people with mental illness.
Existing law, the Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act of 2020, authorizes a local emergency medical services agency to develop a triage to alternate destination program, as defined, which, among other things, authorizes a triage paramedic to transport a patient to an authorized mental health facility or authorized sobering center.
This bill would require the California Health and Human Services Agency to convene a working group, as specified, no later than July 1, 2022, to examine the existing dispatch and response protocols when providing emergency medical services to an individual who may require evaluation and treatment for a mental health disorder. The bill would require the working group to develop recommendations for improvements to those dispatch and response protocols and recommend amendments to existing law, including, but not limited to, the provisions governing involuntarily taking an individual into temporary custody for a mental health evaluation and treatment. The bill would require the working group to submit periodic reports to the Legislature every 6 months to update the Legislature on its progress, and to submit a final report of its recommendations to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2024.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1797.119 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1797.119.
 (a) The California Health and Human Services Agency shall convene, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Emergency Medical Services Authority, a working group composed of no more than 14 members no later than July 1, 2022, to examine the existing dispatch and response protocols when providing emergency medical services to an individual who may require evaluation and treatment for a mental health disorder. The working group shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Representatives of law enforcement agencies.
(2) Representatives of county behavioral health agencies.
(3) Public first responder personnel and providers.
(4) Private first responder personnel and providers.
(5) Groups and stakeholders that provide benefits, services, and advocacy to individuals experiencing severe mental illness and who advocate for the civil and legal rights of those individuals. The number of representatives described in this paragraph who are members of the working groups shall be equal to, or greater than, the number of representatives described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive.
(b) (1) The working group shall develop recommendations for improvements the following:
(A) Improvements to dispatch and response protocols related to providing services to individuals who may require evaluation and treatment for a mental health disorder, determine what, disorder.
(B) What, if any, additional training and education of first responder personnel and providers is necessary and what, necessary.
(C) What, if any, amendments to existing law, including, but not limited to, Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code Code, are necessary to ensure the best and most efficacious response to, and support of, individuals suffering a mental health crisis while protecting the civil liberties of those individuals. In
(2) In developing the recommendations, the working group shall also take into account the all of the following:
(A) The safety of first responder personnel and providers and individuals providers.
(B) The safety of individuals who are experiencing severe mental illness.
(C) The efficacy of innovative local models, including crisis intervention teams, for responding and providing services to people experiencing mental health or substance abuse crises in use in local jurisdictions within, and outside of, California.

(2)

(3) In developing recommendations pursuant to paragraph (1), the working group may consult with other individuals, groups, or organizations for additional insight or expertise on issues under consideration by the working group.

(3)

(4) The recommendations developed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall reflect the consensus of the working group. At its initial meeting, the working group shall establish how consensus will be determined and create a guiding framework for determining if there is consensus.
(c) (1) (A) The working group shall submit a periodic report to update the Legislature on its progress every six months, beginning six months after the working group is first convened, until it submits the report required by subparagraph (B).
(B) The working group shall submit a final report to the Legislature with the recommendations developed pursuant to subdivision (b) on or before January 1, 2024.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.