Assemblyman RAJ MUKHERJI
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblywoman GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblyman CARMELO G. GARCIA
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman Lampitt, Assemblyman Diegnan and Assemblywoman Tucker
Clarifies that definition of mental illness in law governing involuntary commitment to treatment includes substance use disorder if dangerous standard met.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning involuntary commitment to treatment and amending P.L.1987, c.116.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2) is amended to read as follows:
2. As used in P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.1 et seq.) and P.L.2009, c.112:
a. "Chief executive officer" means the person who is the chief administrative officer of an institution or psychiatric facility.
b. "Clinical certificate" means a form prepared by the division and approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts, that is completed by the psychiatrist or other physician who has examined the person who is subject to commitment within three days of presenting the person for involuntary commitment to treatment, and which states that the person is in need of involuntary commitment to treatment. The form shall also state the specific facts upon which the examining physician has based his conclusion and shall be certified in accordance with the Rules of the Court. A clinical certificate may not be executed by a person who is a relative by blood or marriage to the person who is being screened.
c. "Clinical director" means the person who is designated by the director or chief executive officer to organize and supervise the clinical services provided in a screening service, short-term care or psychiatric facility. The clinical director shall be a psychiatrist, however, those persons currently serving in the capacity will not be affected by this provision. This provision shall not alter any current civil service laws designating the qualifications of such position.
d. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Human Services.
e. "County counsel" means the chief legal officer or advisor of the governing body of a county.
f. "Court" means the Superior Court or a municipal court.
g. "Custody" means the right and responsibility to ensure the provision of care and supervision.
h. "Dangerous to self" means that by reason of mental illness the person has threatened or attempted suicide or serious bodily harm, or has behaved in such a manner as to indicate that the person is unable to satisfy his need for nourishment, essential medical care or shelter, so that it is probable that substantial bodily injury, serious physical harm or death will result within the reasonably foreseeable future; however, no person shall be deemed to be unable to satisfy his need for nourishment, essential medical care or shelter if he is able to satisfy such needs with the supervision and assistance of others who are willing and available. This determination shall take into account a person's history, recent behavior and any recent act, threat or serious psychiatric deterioration.
i. "Dangerous to others or property" means that by reason of mental illness there is a substantial likelihood that the person will inflict serious bodily harm upon another person or cause serious property damage within the reasonably foreseeable future. This determination shall take into account a person's history, recent behavior and any recent act, threat or serious psychiatric deterioration.
j. "Department" means the Department of Human Services.
k. "Director" means the chief administrative officer of a screening service, short-term care facility or special psychiatric hospital.
l. "Division" means the Division of Mental Health Services in the Department of Human Services.
m. "In need of involuntary commitment" or "in need of involuntary commitment to treatment" means that an adult with mental illness, whose mental illness causes the person to be dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property and who is unwilling to accept appropriate treatment voluntarily after it has been offered, needs outpatient treatment or inpatient care at a short-term care or psychiatric facility or special psychiatric hospital because other services are not appropriate or available to meet the person's mental health care needs.
n. "Institution" means any State or county facility providing inpatient care, supervision and treatment for persons with developmental disabilities; except that with respect to the maintenance provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, institution also means any psychiatric facility for the treatment of persons with mental illness.
o. "Mental health agency or facility" means a legal entity which receives funds from the State, county or federal government to provide mental health services.
p. "Mental health screener" means a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, registered professional nurse or other individual trained to do outreach only for the purposes of psychological assessment who is employed by a screening service and possesses the license, academic training or experience, as required by the commissioner pursuant to regulation; except that a psychiatrist and a State licensed clinical psychologist who meet the requirements for mental health screener shall not have to comply with any additional requirements adopted by the commissioner.
q. "Mental hospital" means, for the purposes of the payment and maintenance provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, a psychiatric facility.
r. "Mental illness" means a current, substantial disturbance of thought, mood, perception or orientation which significantly impairs judgment, capacity to control behavior or capacity to recognize reality, but does not include simple alcohol intoxication, transitory reaction to drug ingestion, organic brain syndrome or developmental disability unless it results in the severity of impairment described herein. The term mental illness:
(1) includes substance use disorder if a person's substance use disorder makes the person dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property; and
(2) is not limited to "psychosis" or "active psychosis," but shall include all conditions that result in the severity of impairment described herein.
s. "Patient" means a person over the age of 18 who has been admitted to, but not discharged from a short-term care or psychiatric facility, or who has been assigned to, but not discharged from an outpatient treatment provider.
t. "Physician" means a person who is licensed to practice medicine in any one of the United States or its territories, or the District of Columbia.
u. "Psychiatric facility" means a State psychiatric hospital listed in R.S.30:1-7, a county psychiatric hospital, or a psychiatric unit of a county hospital.
v. "Psychiatrist" means a physician who has completed the training requirements of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
w. "Psychiatric unit of a general hospital" means an inpatient unit of a general hospital that restricts its services to the care and treatment of persons with mental illness who are admitted on a voluntary basis.
x. "Psychologist" means a person who is licensed as a psychologist by the New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners.
y. "Screening certificate" means a clinical certificate executed by a psychiatrist or other physician affiliated with a screening service.
z. "Screening service" means a public or private ambulatory care service designated by the commissioner, which provides mental health services including assessment, emergency and referral services to persons with mental illness in a specified geographic area.
aa. "Screening outreach visit" means an evaluation provided by a mental health screener wherever the person may be when clinically relevant information indicates the person may need involuntary commitment to treatment and is unable or unwilling to come to a screening service.
bb. "Short-term care facility" means an inpatient, community based mental health treatment facility which provides acute care and assessment services to a person with mental illness whose mental illness causes the person to be dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property. A short-term care facility is so designated by the commissioner and is authorized by the commissioner to serve persons from a specified geographic area. A short-term care facility may be a part of a general hospital or other appropriate health care facility and shall meet certificate of need requirements and shall be licensed and inspected by the Department of Health and Senior Services pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) and in accordance with standards developed jointly with the Commissioner of Human Services.
cc. "Special psychiatric hospital" means a public or private hospital licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide voluntary and involuntary mental health services, including assessment, care, supervision, treatment and rehabilitation services to persons with mental illness.
dd. "Treatment team" means one or more persons, including at least one psychiatrist or physician, and may include a psychologist, social worker, nurse and other appropriate services providers. A treatment team provides mental health services to a patient of a screening service, outpatient treatment provider, or short-term care or psychiatric facility.
ee. "Voluntary admission" means that an adult with mental illness, whose mental illness causes the person to be dangerous to self or dangerous to others or property and is willing to be admitted to a facility voluntarily for care, needs care at a short-term care or psychiatric facility because other facilities or services are not appropriate or available to meet the person's mental health needs. A person may also be voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric facility if his mental illness presents a substantial likelihood of rapid deterioration in functioning in the near future, there are no appropriate community alternatives available and the psychiatric facility can admit the person and remain within its rated capacity.
ff. "County adjuster" means the person appointed pursuant to R.S.30:4-34.
gg. "Least restrictive environment" means the available setting and form of treatment that appropriately addresses a person's need for care and the need to respond to dangers to the person, others or property and respects, to the greatest extent practicable, the person's interests in freedom of movement and self-direction.
hh. "Outpatient treatment" means clinically appropriate care based on proven or promising treatments directed to wellness and recovery, provided by a member of the patient's treatment team to a person not in need of inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment may include, but shall not be limited to, day treatment services, case management, residential services, outpatient counseling and psychotherapy, and medication treatment.
ii. "Outpatient treatment provider" means a community-based provider, designated as an outpatient treatment provider pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.8), that provides or coordinates the provision of outpatient treatment to persons in need of involuntary commitment to treatment.
jj. "Plan of outpatient treatment" means a plan for recovery from mental illness approved by a court pursuant to section 17 of P.L.2009, c.112 (C.30:4-27.15a) that is to be carried out in an outpatient setting and is prepared by an outpatient treatment provider for a patient who has a history of responding to treatment. The plan may include medication as a component of the plan; however, medication shall not be involuntarily administered in an outpatient setting.
kk. "Reasonably foreseeable future" means a time frame that may be beyond the immediate or imminent, but not longer than a time frame as to which reasonably certain judgments about a person's likely behavior can be reached.
ll. "Substance use disorder" means substance use disorder as defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
(cf: P.L.2009, c.112, s.2)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends the law governing involuntary commitment to treatment to clarify that the definition of the term "mental illness" includes substance use disorder if a person's substance use disorder makes the person "dangerous to self" or "dangerous to others or property," which are also defined terms. The bill also defines the term "substance use disorder" as it is defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The term includes, but is not limited to, alcohol, cannabis, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, sedatives, and stimulants.
Current law, section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2) provides, in part, that being "dangerous to self" means that "by reason of mental illness a person has threatened or attempted suicide or serious bodily harm, or has behaved in such a manner as to indicate" inability "to satisfy the need for nourishment, essential medical care or shelter, so that it is probable that substantial bodily injury, serious physical harm or death will result within the reasonably foreseeable. future." The term "dangerous to others or property" means that "by reason of mental illness there is a substantial likelihood that the person will inflict serious bodily harm upon another person or cause serious property damage within the reasonably foreseeable future. For both terms, the law provides that the determination is to "take into account a person's history, recent behavior, and any recent act, threat or serious psychiatric deterioration."