6/28/19 Posted by:
The Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling is dedicated to ensuring our licensees have the most current regulatory information related to licensure.
Senate Bill 1418 (SB 1418) adds additional circumstances when information from the confidential clinical record may be released to ensure that communication of a specific threat to cause bodily injury or death is timely reported to law enforcement. It further requires that when a patient communicates a specific threat against an identifiable individual to a mental health service provider, the provider must notify law enforcement of the potential threat. The language provides that the disclosure of the threatening confidential communications may not be the basis of civil and criminal legal action. To assist with understanding the changes in law, words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions. The law is effective July 1, 2019.
More specifically, SB 1418 amended section 394.4615, F.S., to provide additional confidential records release circumstances and section 491.0147, F.S., to require persons licensed or certified under chapter 491, F.S., to notify law enforcement if a patient or client communicates a specific threat to cause serious bodily injury or death.
To review the amendments and the full Bill text, please click here.
– Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, LCSW is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Barry University. She is a continuing education provider in the state of Florida providing courses on professional ethics, laws and rules, supervision, mental health error prevention and is a specialist in domestic violence.
The educational commentaries provided by Dr. Waltz do not constitute a legal opinion. If legal advice is needed, it is recommended that contact be made with an attorney qualified in the jurisdiction in which you practice or is applicable to your case. We recommend that you use your knowledge of the law and your code of ethics in conjunction with this and any other information when deciding upon your course of action.