Partners for Our Children

It is the intent of the legislature to enhance continuity of care for persons with serious behavioral health disorders that can be controlled or stabilized in a less restrictive alternative commitment.

Some definitions are proposed in the new legislation, such as changing mental health to behavioral health and chemical dependency to substance use disorder.

Further, the law proposes that:

·         “Behavioral health disorder” means either a mental disorder as defined in this section, a substance use disorder as defined in this section, or a co-occurring mental disorder and substance use disorder;

·         “Severe deterioration from safe behavior” means that a person will, if not treated, suffer or continue to suffer severe and abnormal mental, emotional, or physical distress, and this distress is associated with significant impairment of judgment, reason, or37 behavior; and

·         “Written order of apprehension” means an order of the court for a peace officer to deliver the named person in the order to a facility or emergency room as determined by the designated crisis responder. Such orders shall be entered into the Washington crime information center database.

Amends (in bold) that, beginning on March 29, 2006, with some exceptions, counties, behavioral health organizations, and entities which contract to provide behavioral health organization services and their subcontractors, agents, or employees shall have no claim for declaratory relief, injunctive relief, judicial review under chapter 34.05 RCW, or civil liability against the state or state agencies for actions or inactions performed pursuant to the administration of this chapter with regard to the following:

(a) The allocation or payment of federal or state funds;

(b) the use or allocation of state hospital beds; or

(c)financial responsibility for the provision of inpatient

behavioral health disorder treatment and care.

*Companion bill: SB 5720*