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Mental Health Act of 2016
Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:36 am
Mental Health Act
Katherine Lamendola, Nick Apps, Jennifer Crawford.
Nick Apps, Jep Appelo.
ACT NO. 016-16
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF SAN ANDREAS
|An act to establish the authority of the Los Santos Fire Department's Psychology Unit within San Andreas, and its responsibilities within the state. |
DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
- "Patient" refers to the individual being treated for a Psychological disorder.
- "Psychologist" refers to the individual who is held responsible for treating an individual suffering from a Psychological disorder.
- "Psychology Unit" refers to the respective unit within the Los Santos Fire Department.
- "Lead Psychologist of the Unit" refers to the unit's leading command team member, who oversees the Unit's operations.
- "High Command" refers to the members of the Los Santos Fire Department High Command
- "Unfit for society" refers to the state of any individual that renders them a significant danger to themselves or others, through means of aggression or violence, as a result of an evident and diagnosable mental illness or disorder. Additionally, these individuals must be unwilling or unable to give consent for voluntary treatment. Only the Courts of San Andreas may dictate whether someone is legally declared "Unfit".
- “Handbook” refers to a set of texts that sets forth the standards of the Psychology Unit.
- "Elope" is when a patient deliberately escapes from their caretaker or healthcare facility.
- "Restrained" refers to when a patient is bound, or contained the Cooldown Room.
- "Cooldown Room" refers to an area where an individual who is suffering from a Psychological disorder is to be detained within.
- "Crisis Center" refers to the building adjacent to All Saints General Hospital, at 1946 Medina Avenue, Market, Los Santos 343, San Andreas.
- “The Courts” refers to the Courts of San Andreas, including the Superior Court of San Andreas, the Court of Appeals of San Andreas and the Supreme Court of San Andreas.
The Los Santos Fire Department's Psychology Unit
- This Act hereby establishes the authority of the Los Santos Fire Department's Psychology Unit within San Andreas, and its responsibilities within the State of San Andreas.
- The Los Santos Fire Department's Psychology Unit will uphold primary treatment of all patients suffering from a psychological or mental disorder, giving them the primary care giver role over such individuals.
- The Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit retains the right to evaluate an individual for mental health disorders, with the consent of the individual. If the Fire Department does not have the consent of the individual they are seeking to evaluate, they may apply to the Courts to order the individual to undergo a mandatory psychological evaluation in accordance with Section 3(A) of this Act.
- The Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit will ensure all Psychologists employed by the Unit are correctly trained and qualified under this Act at all times.
- The Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit shall uphold the responsibility of caring for individuals that are deemed unfit for society.
Correlation between the Psychology Unit & the Courts
- The Courts may issue an order compelling an individual to undergo mandatory psychological evaluation(s) if it is believed that the individual is unable to live amongst society, may suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness and or may represent potential harm to themselves or other individuals within society.
- If deemed unfit for society by the Courts, in agreement with a psychological evaluation completed by the Fire Department, the patient may be ordered into psychological care of the Fire Department. While in psychological care, the patient shall be housed within the Crisis Center of the Fire Department, where they shall be monitored by Psychology Department Command and or High Command for a specific period of time that must be specified by the Courts.
- An individual patient may be released from psychological care upon an evaluation by the Lead Psychologist that deems them fit to rejoin society.
- All patients entered into psychological care shall be treated with respect and dignity, to the extent that their condition allows for, and shall not be deprived of basic rights and liberties while in the care of the Fire Department.
- If an individual patient, by or through themselves or a designated spouse, partner, friend or other dependent, disagrees with a mental health evaluation ordering them into psychological care, they have the right petition the Courts to review the initial evaluation, who may order the patient’s conditional or unconditional release.
- The Courts may order a patient’s conditional or unconditional release from psychological care.
- In the case where an individual has committed a crime, the Penal Code will be followed, and the individual will be the responsibility of the Los Santos Police Department and or the San Andreas Sheriff’s Department.
- Any person charged under the San Andreas Penal Code does have the right to see a Psychologist, but this will not deter or delay their arrest for the crime committed, unless otherwise specified by the Courts.
- The patient may be released from the Crisis Center, if not facing trial, upon evaluation and confirmation by Psychology Department Command and of High Command, or upon an order by the Courts.
- The Courts may not grant the release of a psychological case-file to members of the public, but it may subpoena the case-file as pieces of evidence, however, this evidence must remain confidential to the presiding Judge.
- Individuals that are undergoing Psychological care who are combative, are to be restrained.
Employees of the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit may restrain an aggressive individual who is combative and poses an imminent threat of injury or harm to themselves or others around them.
- Employees performing a restraining-related method may not conduct harm to the combative individual while restraining them.
- Employees performing a restraining-related method should identify themselves as an employee of the Los Santos Fire Department.
- Employees of the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit may be equipped with restraining tools, such as, velcro straps, bandages, or straitjackets.
- Employees of the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit may utilize medication in order to sedate a combative individual against their own will.
- The Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit regulates the time an individual may be restrained, by employees of the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit:
- For an adult, aged over eighteen years, may be restrained for up to four hours ((50 minutes)).
- For an adolescent, aged thirteen years to seventeen years, may be restrained for up to two hours. ((35 minutes)).
- For a child, aged below thirteen years, may be restrained for up to one hour ((20 minutes)).
- Exceptions can be made, and ought to be determined by a Los Santos Fire Department Supervisor or the Lead Psychologist. The restraint time may not exceed five hours ((1 hour)).
- Any restrained individual, must not be restrained for longer than necessary, as determined by the Lead Psychologist and internal Unit policy. An example for this, may be a restrained individual calming down to a normal mood level, being able to reason and understand.
- All individuals that are not restrained, can be placed in a Cooldown Room, reserved for those who are being combative.
- All individuals that are restrained must be under direct supervision, for the entire duration of their holding.
- In a case that a patient elopes from the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit, the local law enforcement agency will be contacted to handle the returning of the patient.
- Any persons, under the age of eighteen years, who is restrained or involved in this Act in anyway, must be referred to the Los Santos Fire Department's Child Protective Services for investigation and follow up.
- Any restraint methods utilized by the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit will be required to notify the relevant Law Enforcement Agency, and or request assistance in order to protect the restrained individual or public safety.
- All information regarding the psychological evaluation and or care of a patient is considered confidential and may not be shared without the express consent of the patient.
- No Psychologist within the Fire Department may discuss or release any information asserted and given in a formally recognized session or mental evaluation, outside of their Unit and Los Santos Fire Department High Command.
- In the necessity of preventing the occurrence of a heinous crime or preventing imminent threat to others, the Psychologist(s) may present information obtained through the session to a relevant Law Enforcement Agency.
- If a court-order is issued for the obtainment of any information asserted and established in a psychological case-file, the Fire Department are obliged to comply, through the Office of the Commissioner. However, the case-files, or the factual information required within the case-files will be merely sent to the presiding Judge and may be shared with those the presiding Judge deems to be privy to the matter, without publicly releasing such files.
- The Lead Psychologist shall monitor a robust procedure for reporting violations against an individual's rights that are infringed upon during the use of this Act. The above mentioned procedure is; contacting the Lead Psychologist and or Los Santos Fire Department High Command, who will follow up on the possible complaint.
- The Lead Psychologist shall also be responsible for the creation and implementation of a handbook and Code of Conduct for Psychologists and those working under this Act and the Los Santos Fire Department, to ensure high levels of care at all times.
- The Lead Psychologist shall also be responsible for all employees of the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit, and shall also be responsible for ensuring their training and qualifications are valid and up to date.
- The Lead Psychologist and High Command shall assume responsibility for investigating any alleged non-criminal violations of the provisions of this Act.
- The San Andreas Department of Justice shall assume responsibility for investigating any alleged criminal violations of the provisions of this Act.
- Complaints from the Leadership of any San Andreas State Agency that are non-criminal in nature regarding the Los Santos Psychology Unit should, prior to any other action being taken, attempt to be resolved through negotiation with the Lead Psychologist of the Los Santos Fire Department Psychology Unit, and the Commissioner of the Los Santos Fire Department.
- This bill, if passed, shall come into effect seven (7) days after being signed.
I hereby certify that the foregoing ordinance was passed by the Legislature of the State of San Andreas, at its meeting on this 26th day of September
Approved on this 28th day of September
Lieutenant Governor of San Andreas