Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

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

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/08/2021 09:00 PM
AB662:v97#DOCUMENT

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 1799.1045 1797.119 to the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to mental health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 662, as amended, Rodriguez. Mental health: involuntary treatment: emergency medical personnel. 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 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.

(1)Existing law, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, provides for the involuntary commitment and treatment of persons with specified mental disorders for the protection of the persons committed. Under the act, when a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to themselves, or gravely disabled, the person may, upon probable cause, be taken into custody by specified individuals, including by a peace officer or designated members of a mobile crisis team, 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.

This bill would authorize those specified individuals who may take a person into custody to authorize, in writing, prescribed emergency medical personnel to transport a person to a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services.

(2)Existing law, the Emergency Medical Services System and the Prehospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act, establishes the Emergency Medical Services Authority, among other things, to establish training standards for emergency medical technicians (EMT) at various levels, including EMT-I, EMT-II, and EMT-P. Under the act, existing law sets forth various limitations on liability for individuals who render emergency medical services, including limiting the liability of an EMT-II or mobile intensive care paramedic rendering care within the scope of their duties who, in good faith and in a nonnegligent manner, follows the instructions of a physician or nurse.

This bill would additionally exempt emergency medical personnel under the act from incurring any liability for civil damages resulting from an act or omission unless that act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct if the emergency personnel is transporting a person to a facility, as specified in paragraph (1), and is rendering care within the scope of their duties during the transport.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   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 a working group 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.
(b) (1) The working group shall develop recommendations for improvements to dispatch and response protocols related to providing services to individuals who may require evaluation and treatment for a mental health disorder, and recommend amendments to Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to ensure the best and most efficacious response to, and support of, individuals suffering a mental health crisis. In developing the recommendations, the working group shall also take into account the safety of first responder personnel and providers.
(2) 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) 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.

SECTION 1.Section 1799.1045 is added to the Health and Safety Code, immediately following Section 1799.104, to read:
1799.1045.

Emergency medical personnel, as specified in this division, shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from an act or omission unless that act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct if both of the following are met:

(a)They are transporting a person to a facility pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(b)They are rendering care within the scope of their duties during the transport, as described in subdivision (a).

SEC. 2.Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
5150.

(a)(1)When a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to self or others, or gravely disabled, a peace officer, professional person in charge of a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, as defined by regulation, of a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, designated members of a mobile crisis team, or professional person designated by the county may, upon probable cause, take, or cause to be taken, the person into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention, or placement for evaluation and treatment in a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services. At a minimum, assessment, as defined in Section 5150.4, and evaluation, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 5008, shall be conducted and provided on an ongoing basis. Crisis intervention, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 5008, may be provided concurrently with assessment, evaluation, or any other service.

(2)(A)An individual who is authorized to take, or cause to be taken, a person into custody, as specified in paragraph (1), may authorize, in writing, emergency medical personnel, as described in the Emergency Medical Services System and the Prehospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act (Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code), to transport a person to a facility that is designated by the county for evaluation and treatment and is approved by the State Department of Health Care Services, as specified in paragraph (1).

(B)The written authorization specified in subparagraph (A) shall identify the name of the person to be transported, the name and title of the individual authorizing the transport, the date and time of the transport, the address at which the person was placed in the transport vehicle, and the facility to which the person was transported by the authorized emergency medical personnel.

(b)When determining if a person should be taken into custody pursuant to subdivision (a), the individual making that determination shall apply the provisions of Section 5150.05, and shall not be limited to consideration of the danger of imminent harm.

(c)The professional person in charge of a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, or professional person designated by the county shall assess the person to determine whether the person can be properly served without being detained. If, in the judgment of the professional person in charge of the facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, or professional person designated by the county, the person can be properly served without being detained, the person shall be provided evaluation, crisis intervention, or other inpatient or outpatient services on a voluntary basis. Nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to prevent a peace officer from delivering individuals to a designated facility for assessment under this section. Furthermore, the assessment requirement of this subdivision shall not be interpreted to require peace officers to perform any additional duties other than those specified in Sections 5150.1 and 5150.2.

(d)Whenever a person is evaluated by a professional person in charge of a facility designated by the county for evaluation or treatment, member of the attending staff, or professional person designated by the county and is found to be in need of mental health services, but is not admitted to the facility, all available alternative services provided pursuant to subdivision (c) shall be offered as determined by the county mental health director.

(e)If, in the judgment of the professional person in charge of the facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, or the professional person designated by the county, the person cannot be properly served without being detained, the admitting facility shall require an application in writing stating the circumstances under which the person’s condition was called to the attention of the peace officer, professional person in charge of the facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, or professional person designated by the county, and stating that the peace officer, professional person in charge of the facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, or professional person designated by the county has probable cause to believe that the person is, as a result of a mental health disorder, a danger to self or others, or gravely disabled. The application shall also record whether the historical course of the person’s mental disorder was considered in the determination, pursuant to Section 5150.05. If the probable cause is based on the statement of a person other than the peace officer, professional person in charge of the facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment, member of the attending staff, or professional person designated by the county, the person shall be liable in a civil action for intentionally giving a statement that the person knows to be false. A copy of the application shall be treated as the original.

(f)At the time a person is taken into custody for evaluation, or within a reasonable time thereafter, unless a responsible relative or the guardian or conservator of the person is in possession of the person’s personal property, the person taking them into custody shall take reasonable precautions to preserve and safeguard the personal property in the possession of or on the premises occupied by the person. The person taking them into custody shall then furnish to the court a report generally describing the person’s property so preserved and safeguarded and its disposition, in substantially the form set forth in Section 5211, except that if a responsible relative or the guardian or conservator of the person is in possession of the person’s property, the report shall include only the name of the relative or guardian or conservator and the location of the property, whereupon responsibility of the person taking them into custody for that property shall terminate. As used in this section, “responsible relative” includes the spouse, parent, adult child, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or adult brother or sister of the person.

(g)(1)Each person, at the time the person is first taken into custody under this section, shall be provided, by the person who takes them into custody, the following information orally in a language or modality accessible to the person. If the person cannot understand an oral advisement, the information shall be provided in writing. The information shall be in substantially the following form:

My name is .

I am a(peace officer/mental health professional) .

with(name of agency) .

You are not under criminal arrest, but I am taking you for an examination by mental health professionals at .

(name of facility)

You will be told your rights by the mental health staff.

(2)If taken into custody at their own residence, the person shall also be provided the following information:


You may bring a few personal items with you, which I will have to approve. Please inform me if you need assistance turning off any appliance or water. You may make a phone call and leave a note to tell your friends or family where you have been taken.


(h)The designated facility shall keep, for each patient evaluated, a record of the advisement given pursuant to subdivision (g) which shall include all of the following:

(1)The name of the person detained for evaluation.

(2)The name and position of the peace officer or mental health professional taking the person into custody.

(3)The date the advisement was completed.

(4)Whether the advisement was completed.

(5)The language or modality used to give the advisement.

(6)If the advisement was not completed, a statement of good cause, as defined by regulations of the State Department of Health Care Services.

(i)(1)Each person admitted to a facility designated by the county for evaluation and treatment shall be given the following information by admission staff of the facility. The information shall be given orally and in writing and in a language or modality accessible to the person. The written information shall be available to the person in English and in the language that is the person’s primary means of communication. Accommodations for other disabilities that may affect communication shall also be provided. The information shall be in substantially the following form:

My name is .

My position here is  .

You are being placed into this psychiatric facility because it is our professional opinion that, as a result of a mental health disorder, you are likely to (check applicable):

Harm yourself.
Harm someone else.
Be unable to take care of your own food, clothing, and housing needs.
We believe this is true because

(list of the facts upon which the allegation of dangerous
or gravely disabled due to mental health disorder is based, including pertinent
facts arising from the admission interview).

You will be held for a period up to 72 hours. During the 72 hours you may also be transferred to another facility. You may request to be evaluated or treated at a facility of your choice. You may request to be evaluated or treated by a mental health professional of your choice. We cannot guarantee the facility or mental health professional you choose will be available, but we will honor your choice if we can.

During these 72 hours you will be evaluated by the facility staff, and you may be given treatment, including medications. It is possible for you to be released before the end of the 72 hours. But if the staff decides that you need continued treatment you can be held for a longer period of time. If you are held longer than 72 hours, you have the right to a lawyer and a qualified interpreter and a hearing before a judge. If you are unable to pay for the lawyer, then one will be provided to you free of charge.

If you have questions about your legal rights, you may contact the county Patients’ Rights Advocate at (phone number for the county Patients’ Rights Advocacy office).

Your 72-hour period began (date/time).

(2)If the notice is given in a county where weekends and holidays are excluded from the 72-hour period, the patient shall be informed of this fact.

(j)For each patient admitted for evaluation and treatment, the facility shall keep with the patient’s medical record a record of the advisement given pursuant to subdivision (i), which shall include all of the following:

(1)The name of the person performing the advisement.

(2)The date of the advisement.

(3)Whether the advisement was completed.

(4)The language or modality used to communicate the advisement.

(5)If the advisement was not completed, a statement of good cause.