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AB-1116 Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program.(2017-2018)



Current Version: 08/24/18 - Enrolled        


AB1116:v92#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  August 24, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  August 20, 2018
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 23, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 09, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  May 15, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  September 08, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  July 18, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1116


Introduced by Assembly Member Grayson
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta, Burke, Cooper, Rodriguez, Rubio, and Wood)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Article 22 (commencing with Section 8669.7) to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of, and to add and repeal Article 21 (commencing with Section 8669) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to emergency services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1116, Grayson. Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program.
Under existing law, the California Emergency Services Act, the Governor is authorized to proclaim a state of emergency, as defined, under specified circumstances. The California Emergency Services Act also authorizes the governing body of a city, county, city and county, or an official designated by ordinance adopted by that governing body, to proclaim a local emergency, as defined. Existing law provides that a person has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication with specified persons, except in specified circumstances.
This bill would, until January 1, 2024, create the Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program. The bill would, for purposes of the act, define a “peer support team” as a team composed of emergency service personnel, as defined, hospital staff, clergy, and educators who have been appointed to the team by a Peer Support Labor-Management Committee, as defined, and who have completed a peer support training course developed and delivered by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee or the Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training, as specified. The bill would provide that a communication made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member while the peer support team member provides peer support services, as defined, is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding. Notwithstanding that prohibition, the bill would authorize the disclosure of that communication under limited circumstances, including, among others, when disclosure is reasonably believed to be necessary to prevent death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime, or when disclosure is reasonably believed to be required pursuant to the peer support policy, as specified. The bill would also provide that, except for an action for medical malpractice, a peer support team member providing peer support services as a member of a peer support team is not liable for damages, as specified, relating to an act, error, or omission in performing peer support services, unless the act, error, or omission constitutes gross negligence or intentional misconduct. The bill would further provide that a communication made by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service, as defined, is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding, except as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Correctional peace officers, parole officers, and firefighters frequently respond to traumatic incidents and dangerous circumstances, including, but not limited to, fires, stabbings, gun battles and shootings, domestic violence, terrorist acts, riots, automobile accidents, airplane crashes, earthquakes, and other gruesome scenes that have a profound impact on the mental health of these professionals. They are exposed to harmful substances, such as blood, urine, and vomit. They witness grave injuries, death, and grief. They are frequently placed in harm’s way, with significant risk of bodily harm or physical assault while performing the duties of their jobs.
(b) The traumatic and unpredictable nature of these professions results in a high-stress working environment that can take an overwhelming mental, emotional, and physical toll on personnel. Chronic exposure to traumatic events and critical incidents increases the risk for post-traumatic stress and other stress-induced injuries.
(c) While most correctional peace officers, parole officers, and firefighters survive the traumas of their jobs, sadly, many experience the impacts of occupational stressors when off duty. The psychological and emotional stress of their professions can have a detrimental impact long after their shift is over.
(d) Such trauma-related injuries can become overwhelming, manifesting in post-traumatic stress, which results in substance use disorders and even, tragically, suicide. The fire service, as an example, is four times more likely to experience a suicide than a “traditional” death in the line of duty in any year.
(e) Similar to military personnel, California’s correctional peace officers, parole officers, and firefighters face unique and uniquely dangerous risks in their mission to keep the public safe. These professionals rely on each other for survival while placing their lives on the line every day to protect the communities they serve.
(f) The culture of emergency services has often inhibited its personnel from asking for assistance in battling their psychological stress for fear it will cause ridicule, shame, or adverse job action.
(g) California has a responsibility to ensure that its emergency service and public safety agencies are equipped with the tools necessary to assist correctional peace officers, parole officers, and firefighters to mitigate the occupational stress that they experience as a result of performing their job duties and protecting the public.
(h) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature in enacting the Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program to enable critically needed, confidential peer support and crisis referral services for California’s correctional peace officers, parole officers, and firefighters.
(i) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting the Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program that a confidential communication made by emergency service personnel, a peer support team member, or crisis referral service staff remain confidential after the repeal of the pilot program.

SEC. 2.

 Article 21 (commencing with Section 8669) is added to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  21. Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program

8669.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program.

8669.1.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Communication” means all oral communications, information, notes, records, and reports made by emergency service personnel, a peer support team member, or crisis referral service staff, and arising from the delivery of peer support services or crisis referral services.
(b) “Crisis referral services” include all public or private organizations that advise employees and volunteers of agencies employing emergency service personnel about consultation and treatment resources for personal problems, including mental health issues, chemical dependency, domestic violence, gambling, financial problems, and other personal crises. Crisis referral services do not include employee representative organizations, associations, or unions, or agencies owned or operated by employee representative organizations, associations, or unions.
(c) “Critical incident” means an actual or perceived event or situation that involves crisis, disaster, trauma, or emergency.
(d) “Critical incident stress” means the acute or cumulative psychological stress or trauma that emergency service personnel may experience in providing emergency services in response to a critical incident. The stress or trauma is an unusually strong emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or physical reaction that may interfere with normal functioning and could lead to post-traumatic stress injuries, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:
(1) Physical and emotional illness.
(2) Failure of usual coping mechanisms.
(3) Loss of interest in the job or normal life activities.
(4) Personality changes.
(5) Loss of ability to function.
(6) Psychological disruption of personal life, including his or her relationship with a spouse, child, or friend.
(e) “Emergency service personnel” means a correctional peace officer or parole officer, as defined in Section 830.5 of the Penal Code and employed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or a firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, or dispatcher employed by the state or a city, county, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state.
(f) “Peer support services” include services provided by a peer support team or a peer support team member to emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident or the accumulation of witnessing multiple incidents. Peer support services assist emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident in coping with critical incident stress or mitigating reactions to critical incident stress to reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress injuries. Peer support services include all of the following:
(1) Precrisis education.
(2) Critical incident stress defusings.
(3) Critical incident stress debriefings.
(4) On-scene support services.
(5) One-on-one support services.
(6) Consultation.
(7) Referral services.
(8) Confidentiality obligations.
(9) The impact of toxic stress on health and well-being.
(10) Grief support.
(11) Substance abuse identification and approaches.
(12) Active listening skills.
(g) “Peer Support Labor-Management Committee” means a committee, created by an employer that elects to create a peer support program. The committee shall be composed of an equal number of representatives of the employer and the employees. The members of the committee who are employees shall be appointed by the employee organization that represents the majority of the participants in the peer support program. The Peer Support Labor-Management Committee of an employer operating statewide may agree upon additional, site-specific peer support labor-management committees as are deemed necessary for the effective operation of the program.
(h) “Peer support program” means a program to deliver peer support services to an agency’s employees consistent with this article and governed by peer support policies established by the Peer Support Labor-Management Committee.
(i) “Peer support team” means a team or teams composed of emergency service personnel, hospital staff, clergy, and educators who have completed a peer support training course developed and delivered pursuant to Section 8669.4, and who have been appointed to the team by a Peer Support Labor-Management Committee or a site-specific peer support labor-management committee.
(j) “Peer support team member” means an individual who is a member of a peer support team and is specially trained to provide peer support services as a member of a peer support team.

8669.2.
 (a) A communication made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member while the peer support team member provides peer support services is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a communication described in subdivision (a) may only be disclosed under the following circumstances:
(1) The peer support team member reasonably must make an appropriate referral of the emergency service personnel to, or consult about the emergency service personnel with, another member of the peer support team or an appropriate licensed or clinical professional associated with the peer support team.
(2) The peer support team member reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary to prevent death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime.
(3) The peer support team member reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary pursuant to the peer support policies established by the Peer Support Labor-Management Committee. The peer support policies shall address instances in which an admission by emergency service personnel to a peer support team member, while the peer support team member provides peer support services, raises concerns of substantial bodily harm to another individual.
(4) The emergency service personnel or the legal representative of the emergency service personnel expressly agrees in writing that the emergency service personnel communication may be disclosed.
(c) If the communication is disclosed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (b), a peer support team member shall notify the emergency service personnel of the disclosure in writing.

8669.3.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), emergency service personnel who provide peer support services as a member of a peer support team and have completed a training course described in Section 8669.4 shall not be liable for damages, including personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other loss related to an act, error, or omission in performing peer support services, unless the act, error, or omission constitutes gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to an action for medical malpractice.

8669.4.
 (a) (1) The Office of Emergency Services shall contract with the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee to develop and deliver a fire service-specific peer support training course, or approve existing curriculum that meets the standards established in this article, that a peer support team member shall complete to provide peer support services for firefighters and to be eligible for the protections of this article.
(2) The fire service-specific peer support training course shall be developed by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee in consultation with individuals and organizations knowledgeable about fire service peer support services.
(3) The fire service-specific peer support training course shall include, but shall not be limited to, topics on peer support services as identified in subdivision (f) of Section 8669.1.
(4) The contract shall provide for the delivery of training by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee through contracts with state, local, and regional public fire agencies.
(b) (1) The Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training shall develop and deliver a peer support training course that an emergency service personnel peer support team member who will be operating in the state correctional system, including youth and adult correctional facilities, shall complete to be eligible for the protections of this article.
(2) The peer support training course shall include, but shall not be limited to, topics on peer support services as identified in subdivision (f) of Section 8669.1.

8669.5.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a communication made by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a crisis hotline or crisis referral service may only disclose confidential information communicated by emergency service personnel to prevent reasonably certain death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime.

8669.6.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Article 22 (commencing with Section 8669.7) is added to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  22. Emergency Service Personnel

8669.7.
 (a) A communication made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member while the peer support team member provides peer support services is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(b) A communication made by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(c) For purposes of this section the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Communication” means all oral communications, information, notes, records, and reports made by emergency service personnel, a peer support team member, or crisis referral service staff, and arising from the delivery of peer support services or crisis referral services.
(2) “Crisis referral services” include all public or private organizations that advise employees and volunteers of agencies employing emergency service personnel about consultation and treatment resources for personal problems, including mental health issues, chemical dependency, domestic violence, gambling, financial problems, and other personal crises. Crisis referral services do not include employee representative organizations, associations, or unions, or agencies owned or operated by employee representative organizations, associations, or unions.
(3) “Critical incident” means an actual or perceived event or situation that involves crisis, disaster, trauma, or emergency.
(4) “Critical incident stress” means the acute or cumulative psychological stress or trauma that emergency service personnel may experience in providing emergency services in response to a critical incident. The stress or trauma is an unusually strong emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or physical reaction that may interfere with normal functioning and could lead to post-traumatic stress injuries, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:
(A) Physical and emotional illness.
(B) Failure of usual coping mechanisms.
(C) Loss of interest in the job or normal life activities.
(D) Personality changes.
(E) Loss of ability to function.
(F) Psychological disruption of personal life, including his or her relationship with a spouse, child, or friend.
(5) “Emergency service personnel” means a correctional peace officer or parole officer, as defined in Section 830.5 of the Penal Code and employed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or a firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, or dispatcher employed by the state or a city, county, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state.
(6) “Peer support services” include services provided by a peer support team or a peer support team member to emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident or the accumulation of witnessing multiple incidents. Peer support services assist emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident in coping with critical incident stress or mitigating reactions to critical incident stress to reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress injuries.
(7) “Peer support team” means a team or teams composed of emergency service personnel, hospital staff, clergy, and educators who have completed a peer support training course developed and delivered pursuant to former Section 8669.4, and who have been appointed to the team by a Peer Support Labor-Management Committee or a site-specific peer support labor-management committee.
(8) “Peer support team member” means an individual who is a member of a peer support team and is specially trained to provide peer support services as a member of a peer support team.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024, and shall only apply to communications made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member, or by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service, between January 1, 2019, and January 1, 2024, pursuant to the former Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program established pursuant to former Article 21 (commencing with Section 8669) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code.