In The News

HB 1120 Effective Now - Age 12 Minor Consent 

During the 2019 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed HB19-1120: Youth Mental Health Education and Suicide Prevention. The new law changes the practice requirements for all licensed mental health professionals in the state of Colorado. 

The law allows a licensed mental health professional to provide outpatient psychotherapy services to a minor who is 12 or older without the consent of the minors parent or legal guardian if the mental health professional determines that:

  • The minor is knowingly and voluntarily seeking such services;
  • The provision of psychotherapy services in clinically indicated and necessary to the minor’s well-being 

To reiterate, inpatient treatment is not covered under the provisions of the new law.

The law also included several directives as it relates to parental notification. These provisions include:

  • A licensed mental health professional may notify the minor’s parents or legal guardian of the psychotherapy services given or needed, with the minor’s consent, unless notifying the parent or legal guardian would be inappropriate or detrimental to the minor’s care and treatment.
  • A licensed mental health professional must speak with the minor about the importance of involving and notifying.
  • A licensed mental health professionals also have the authority to notify the minor’s parent or legal guardian of the psychotherapy services given or needed, without the minor’s consent, if in the professionals opinion of the professional, the minor is unable to manage their care of treatment.

 Licensed mental health professionals serving those between 12-14 and must also perform certain documentation requirements. Specifically, a licensed mental health professional must:

  • Fully document when the licensed mental health professional attempts to contact or notify the minor’s parent or legal guardian, and whether the attempt was successful or unsuccessful, or the reason why, in the mental health professionals opinions, it would be inappropriate to contact or notify the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
  • The documentation must be included in the minor’s clinical record, along with a written statement signed by the minor indicating that the minor is voluntarily seeking psychotherapy services. 

In addition, there was a specific requirement that psychotherapy services must be provided in a culturally appropriate manner. The overall provision of the services must be culturally appropriate and provided in a manner and format to support individuals with limited English proficiency or challenges with accessibility related to a disability and with respect for diverse background, including individuals with different cultural origins and individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The current duty to warn for mental health professionals applies when a minor communicates a threat or intent to harm themselves or others. The duty to warn is expanded to require the licensed mental health professional to notify the minor’s parent or legal guardian if the minor communicates an intent to commit suicide.  

 To be clear, the new law allows, but does not require, a minor 12 or older to consent to treatment. If a minor presents for treatment with their parents or legal guardians and the parents or legal guardians consent to the treatment than a licensed mental health professional does not have to require the 12 year old to sign the paperwork. These new provisions only apply to minors who are consenting to treatment without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

Here is a link to the final language of the bill which outlines the requirements listed above in detail - https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/2019a_1120_signed.pdf

 There are still lots of unknowns about how this new law will work in practice but CPA is in close communications with the other licensed mental health providers as well as the Department of Regulatory Agencies. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to send our way and we will work with our partners to answer to the best of our ability.

 

Statement of APA President in Response to Mass Shootings in Texas, Ohio

Posted: August 5, 2019

WASHINGTON — Following is the statement of APA President Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, on the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and in Dayton, Ohio:

"Our condolences are with the families and friends of those killed or injured in these horrific shootings and with all Americans affected every day by the twin horrors of hate and gun violence.

“As our nation tries to process the unthinkable yet again, it is clearer than ever that we are facing a public health crisis of gun violence fueled by racism, bigotry and hatred. The combination of easy access to assault weapons and hateful rhetoric is toxic. Psychological science has demonstrated that social contagion — the spread of thoughts, emotions and behaviors from person to person and among larger groups — is real, and may well be a factor, at least in the El Paso shooting.

“That shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, as it should be. Psychological science has demonstrated the damage that racism can inflict on its targets. Racism has been shown to have negative cognitive and behavioral effects on both children and adults and to increase anxiety, depression, self-defeating thoughts and avoidance behaviors.

“Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing. Research has shown that only a very small percentage of violent acts are committed by people who are diagnosed with, or in treatment for, mental illness. The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them. One critical factor is access to, and the lethality of, the weapons that are being used in these crimes. Adding racism, intolerance and bigotry to the mix is a recipe for disaster. 

“If we want to address the gun violence that is tearing our country apart, we must keep our focus on finding evidence-based solutions. This includes restricting access to guns for people who are at risk for violence and working with psychologists and other experts to find solutions to the intolerance that is infecting our nation and the public dialogue.”

For people who are suffering distress in the aftermath of the shootings in Dayton and El Paso, APA offers a variety of resources, including:

 

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs

Posted: August 13, 2019 

The APA's Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) is seeking nominations for two new members to begin three-year terms of service on January 1, 2020. The committee functions as a catalyst for action on ethnic minority issues and concerns by interacting with and making recommendations to the various components of the APA's governing structure, APA membership, and other groups. Committee members plan, develop, and coordinate various activities related to advocacy and promoting an understanding of the cultures and psychological well-being of ethnic minority populations, monitoring and assessing institutional barriers to equal access to psychological services, and ensuring equitable ethnic/racial representation in the profession of psychology. 

To fulfill its mandate for ethnic representation and its commitment to gender equity on the Committee, the two slates are for the following: one self-identified Latinx female psychologist and one self-identified American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Native female psychologist. Applicants/Candidates also will need to demonstrate her/his knowledge, expertise, and commitment, through research, education and training, and/or the delivery of psychological services, which meet the needs and/or address the concerns of the respective targeted nomination slates (e.g., American Indian/Alaska Native communities or the Latinx communities). In addition, CEMA welcomes the nomination of candidates who possess knowledge and expertise of other diverse populations within both the Latinx and American Indian/Alaska Native communities (e.g., disability, older adults/elders, early career, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.). Special consideration will be given to those applicants whose education, training, experiences, and/or expertise represents basic and/or applied areas of psychological science/research. Term of service is: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022.

Selected candidates will be required to participate in no less than two committee meetings a year and quarterly conference calls. Members also work on CEMA projects as necessary between meetings. Also, CEMA members are strongly encouraged to attend the APA annual convention at their own expense and to participate in convention programming sponsored by CEMA.

Nomination materials should include the nominee's qualifications (including a statement of relevant experience), a current curriculum vita and a letter of interest to serve a three term on CEMA. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations materials sent, to the APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs at the APA address or via email to: [email protected]. no later than September 6, 2019.

 

CPA Communications Survey

Posted: July 3, 2019


The Colorado Psychological Association (CPA) is interested in hearing your opinions about our communications efforts. We are looking for honest feedback to help us improve the member experience and our communication. Please participate in this brief survey and share your thoughts with us. Responses will be kept anonymous.

Fill out the survey for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card! 

Complete Survey!

 

Not a Member? Join Today!

Posted: February 8, 2019

Membership for CPA starts the day you join and expires 365 days later so no matter when you join you get enjoy your exclusive member benefits for an entire year!

Join Today For a Whole Year of Membership!

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