News & Updates

California Law Allows LMFTs to Act as a Second Signatory to Extend Involuntary Treatment

CAMFT-sponsored bill, AB 191 has been signed into law and will be effective January 1, 2018.  According to the new law, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) can now act as secondary signers (in addition to LCSWs and RNs) in certifying extensions to “5150 Holds” (including both 14 day and 30 day extensions).  According to California law, a person who has been put on a 5150 hold for 72 hours and has received an evaluation may be certified for an initial 14-day period of intensive treatment.  The law also authorizes the person to be certified for an additional period not to exceed 14 days if that person was suicidal during the 14-day period or the 72-hour evaluation, or an additional period of 30 days. “A notice of certification” is required for all persons certified for the initial 14-day intensive treatment and a second notice of certification is required each time the person is certified as needing additional intensive treatment. The law requires the initial and second notice of certification to be signed by two people and specifies the qualifications of the signatories.  The first person must be a physician or a licensed psychologist.   The second person must be a physician, or a psychologist who participated in the evaluation, or if the original signer was the physician or a psychologist who performed the evaluation, the second person may be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, physician, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, registered nurse or licensed professional clinical counselor, who has participated in the evaluation that the person meets the criteria for an extended involuntary treatment as required by the applicable law.   Individuals who work in hospitals and clinics may find the flyer to be a helpful resource for their employers.  Interested parties may download and distribute CAMFT’s flyer on this new law .  Click here to view the bill.