Bill S196-2011

Makes provisions regarding safety of certain employees of the office of mental health, including certain staffing ratios and filling of staff vacancies

Makes provisions regarding safety of certain employees of the office of mental health: provides that the commissioner of the office of mental health shall direct that in outpatient programs no employee shall be required to enter the residence of a person with a serious mental illness unless said employee is accompanied by at least one other employee of the program or other appropriate person; provides that the commissioner shall also direct that all such employees shall, when they are required to enter the residence of a recipient of services, be supplied with a wireless telephone or comparable device for the purposes of emergency communications; provides that the commissioner shall direct that employees serving as intensive case managers receive annual training in safety measures and violence prevention and that the commissioner shall insure the availability of such training; provides that funds appropriated for the operation of outpatient programs shall be expended to insure that there shall be at least one intensive case manager for each twelve persons receiving such services, and that there shall be no more than twelve persons receiving services from any one assertive case management team; directs the division of the budget to cause positions to be promptly filled in order to maintain said ratios.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • May 4, 2011: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities - May 4, 2011
Ayes (9): McDonald, Ball, Bonacic, Hannon, Seward, Zeldin, Huntley, Peralta, Klein
Nays (1): Duane

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S196

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to safety provisions for employees of the office of mental health

PURPOSE: The purpose of this legislation is to provide for the safety of mental health workers who may be at risk of violent behaviors from patients that they tend to.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Two new subdivisions (c) and (d) are added to § 7.25 of the mental hygiene law. Subdivision (c) directs the commissioner of the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to require that no OMH employee shall enter the residence of a person with a serious mental illness unless accompanied by at least one other OMH employee. Subdivision (c) also directs the Commissioner to provide all OMH intensive case managers, when required to enter the residence of a person with a serious mental illness, with a wireless telephone or comparable device for the purposes of emergency communications. Subdivision (d) directs the commissioner of OMH to provide for the annual training of OMH employees in safety and violence Prevention. OMH is further directed to allocate or redistribute resources to ensure a ratio of no less than one intensive case manager for each ten persons receiving intensive case management services.

JUSTIFICATION: There have been many violent incidents across New York State involving persons with serious mental illness and the OMH caseworkers charged with caring for them. Some of these incidents could well have been avoided or at least made less severe if these employees had been in the company of at least one other intensive case manager trained in safety and violence prevention. This legislation would ensure that OMH employees are better prepared to face situations in which violent behavior threatening their safety and the safety of others may arise.

BILL HISTORY: S.5524C of 2000; Referred to Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities S.3359/A.5575 of 2002 Passed Assembly S.1516/A.678 of 2003/2004; Referred to Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities S.207 of 2005/2006; vetoed memo 247 S.3101 2007/2008; Delivered to Assembly, referred to ways and means S.3216/A.7878 of 2009/2010; Referred to Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 60 days after being enacted.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 196 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. MAZIARZ, GOLDEN, GRIFFO, LARKIN, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to safety provisions for employees of the office of mental health THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 7.25 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding two new subdivisions (c) and (d) to read as follows: (C) IN ANY OUTPATIENT PROGRAM STAFFED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DIRECT THAT NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO ENTER THE RESIDENCE OF A RECIPIENT OF SERVICES WHO IS A PERSON WITH SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIFTY-TWO OF SECTION 1.03 OF THIS CHAPTER UNLESS SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ACCOMPANIED BY AT LEAST ONE OTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE PROGRAM, OR OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSON. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ALSO DIRECT THAT ALL SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL, WHEN THEY ARE REQUIRED TO ENTER THE RESIDENCE OF A RECIPIENT OF SERVICES, BE SUPPLIED WITH A WIRELESS TELEPHONE OR COMPARABLE DEVICE FOR THE PURPOSES OF EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. (D) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DIRECT THAT ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVING AS INTENSIVE CASE MANAGERS SHALL RECEIVE ANNUAL TRAINING IN SAFETY AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SHALL INSURE THAT SUCH TRAINING IS MADE AVAILABLE BY THE OFFICE AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING SUCH EMPLOYEES. FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH FOR THE OPERATION OF OUTPATIENT PROGRAMS SHALL BE EXPENDED BY THE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH TO INSURE THAT SUFFI- CIENT STAFF SHALL BE EMPLOYED AS INTENSIVE CASE MANAGERS TO INSURE THAT THERE SHALL BE NO FEWER THAN ONE INTENSIVE CASE MANAGER FOR EACH TWELVE PERSONS RECEIVING SERVICES OF INTENSIVE CASE MANAGEMENT; AND IN THE CASE OF ASSERTIVE COMMUNITY TREATMENT TEAMS THE SAME STAFF TO CONSUMER RATIO
SHALL BE MAINTAINED. IN THE EVENT ANY SUCH STAFF POSITIONS BECOME VACANT, THE COMMISSIONER AND THE DIVISION OF BUDGET SHALL CAUSE SUCH POSITIONS TO BE PROMPTLY FILLED IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN AT LEAST SUCH RATIO OF STAFF TO RECIPIENTS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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