CHA News Article

Mental Health Law Manual Updated for 2011
A handbook on laws governing mental health treatment

The Mental Health Law manual has been updated to reflect all state and federal legislation, regulations and judicial decisions governing mental health treatment and privacy through July 2011. CHA has sorted through the various laws and written the requirements in a user-friendly manner to help health care professionals understand the legal requirements as well as the rights and protections of the patients they serve.

“Sorting through the maze of mental health law is particularly difficult because there are multiple bodies of law,” stated Lois Richardson, CHA vice president, legal publications and education. “In this manual, all laws governing mental health treatment and medical privacy are discussed — the LPS Act, CMIA, HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and other state and federal laws. Preemption analyses are included to provide guidance on which law to follow and when.”

Updates to this edition include the expanded legal authority of minors to consent to outpatient mental health treatment; the new legal authority for psychologists to order restraint and seclusion in an acute care hospital; an amendment to laws regarding abuse and neglect reporting, “reasonable suspicion,” and CMIA; an update regarding who may be given information relevant to reports of a child suffering serious emotional damage; revisions to the model Conditions of Admission form; and much more.

For a complete list of chapters or to order the manual, visit