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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsMay 2013

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16 Del.C. §5122(m)
Effective July 1, 2013, 16 Del.C. Ch. 51, Subchapter II will requires an assessment by a credentialed mental health screener before an individual is detained on a 24-hour psychiatric hold, thereby helping to ensure that detainment and hospitalization only occur when it is clinically necessary and that the individual is afforded appropriate access to the less-restrictive alternatives being developed across the state in accordance with the United States Department of Justice and State of Delaware Settlement Agreement. The regulations set forth the qualifications, licensure, supervision, and training required for professionals to be credentialed as mental health screeners. This proposal clarifies which credentialed mental health screeners may make decisions regarding juveniles.
Title 16, Chapter 51 of the Delaware Code states that only psychiatrists and professionals credentialed by the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) as a Mental Health Screener (MH Screener) have the authority to detain or abrogate a detainment of a person involuntarily for a psychiatric evaluation. No person shall hold themselves out to the public as credentialed mental health screener unless the persons are credentialed in accordance with this chapter. The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) is the DHSS Division responsible for implementing and enforcing this law.
“Continuing Education Units (CEUs)means a measure used in continuing education programs, particularly for those required in a licensed profession, in order for the professional to maintain the license. In the case of unlicensed professionals who do not qualify for CEUs, the equivalent for the purpose contact hours or certificates of attendance issued in lieu of CEUs for continuing behavioral health training and education.
Credentialed Mental Health Screener means an individual who has applied for and been approved to be credentialed as a mental health screener under Chapter 51 by the DSAMH.
Crisis experience in a mental health setting is defined as direct experience providing acute crisis services to people with mental health disorders in settings that include, but are not limited to, psychiatric assessment centers, hospital emergency rooms, crisis walk in settings, admission departments of psychiatric or general service hospitals, mobile crisis departments, drop in centers and certain settings found in the Department of Corrections.
Licensed Mental Health Professionals means individuals who are licensed by the State of Delaware and who are otherwise eligible to be credentialed as a mental health screener under Chapter 51 include licensed physicians (MD/DO) whose practice specialty is other than psychiatry; licensed registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN); licensed advanced practice registered nurses (APN); licensed physician assistants (PA-C); licensed clinical psychologists (PhD/Psy.D); licensed clinical social workers (LCSW); licensed mental health counselors (LMHC); and licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT).
Supervision of unlicensed mental health professionals by a psychiatrist” means an unlicensed mental health professionals who need to work under a psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine will perform this work under their organization’s practice standards and guidelines. This includes requirements that the credentialed mental health screener discuss the individual in care's issues on the phone or through telepsychiatry with the supervising psychiatrist at the time of the detainment decision and assuring that this psychiatrist agrees and countersigns the decision made. An electronically transmitted copy or original detainment form with the supervising psychiatrist’s signature will need to be placed in the client's medical record at the facility or site where the detainment occurred within 24 hours.
Unlicensed mental health professional” means an individual who works under the direct supervision of a psychiatrist but does not hold a professional license issued by the State of Delaware.
3.2.3 Each physician will receive and be required to review an information packet on statewide resources for clients in crisis.
4.1 Application for Credentialing
4.2 Application for Re-credentialing
5.1.2 For licensed applicants training guidelines for applicants will include content that may change over time and is up to DSAMH to direct, including acceptable CEUs generally related to psychiatric or crisis work.
5.1.3 For unlicensed applicants training guidelines for applicants will include content that may change over time and is up to DSAMH to direct, including acceptable CEUs generally related to psychiatric or crisis work.
6.1 Conflict of Interest Statement:
The intent of the law is to ensure that no person is detained for any reason other than experiencing symptoms associated with a mental condition that may result in danger to self or others, and that any conflicts of interest as set forth in 16 Del.C. §5122 are disclosed on the DSAMH Crisis Intervention Assessment Tool and 24-hour Emergency Admission form filed with DSAMH within 24 hours of signature of the detention order. DSAMH will collect and monitor all assessments, detentions and non-detentions performed by credentialed mental health screeners, whether a conflict of interest is disclosed or not, for purposes of ensuring that the intent of this law is met and that admissions are appropriate.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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