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43.70.440  <<  43.70.442 >>   43.70.460

RCW 43.70.442

Suicide assessment, treatment, and management training — Requirement for certain professionals — Model list of programs — Rules.


     *** CHANGE IN 2014 *** (SEE 2315-S.SL) ***

(1)(a) Beginning January 1, 2014, each of the following professionals certified or licensed under Title 18 RCW shall, at least once every six years, complete training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management that is approved, in rule, by the relevant disciplining authority:

     (i) An adviser or counselor certified under chapter 18.19 RCW;

     (ii) A chemical dependency professional licensed under chapter 18.205 RCW;

     (iii) A marriage and family therapist licensed under chapter 18.225 RCW;

     (iv) A mental health counselor licensed under chapter 18.225 RCW;

     (v) An occupational therapy practitioner licensed under chapter 18.59 RCW;

     (vi) A psychologist licensed under chapter 18.83 RCW;

     (vii) An advanced social worker or independent clinical social worker licensed under chapter 18.225 RCW; and

     (viii) A social worker associate--advanced or social worker associate -- independent clinical licensed under chapter 18.225 RCW.

     (b) The requirements in (a) of this subsection apply to a person holding a retired active license for one of the professions in (a) of this subsection.

     (c) The training required by this subsection must be at least six hours in length, unless a disciplinary authority has determined, under subsection (8)(b) of this section, that training that includes only screening and referral elements is appropriate for the profession in question, in which case the training must be at least three hours in length.

     (2)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a professional listed in subsection (1)(a) of this section must complete the first training required by this section during the first full continuing education reporting period after January 1, 2014, or the first full continuing education reporting period after initial licensure or certification, whichever occurs later.

     (b) A professional listed in subsection (1)(a) of this section applying for initial licensure on or after January 1, 2014, may delay completion of the first training required by this section for six years after initial licensure if he or she can demonstrate successful completion of the training required in subsection (1) of this section no more than six years prior to the application for initial licensure.

     (3) The hours spent completing training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management under this section count toward meeting any applicable continuing education or continuing competency requirements for each profession.

     (4)(a) A disciplining authority may, by rule, specify minimum training and experience that is sufficient to exempt a professional from the training requirements in subsection (1) of this section.

     (b) The board of occupational therapy practice may exempt an occupational therapy practitioner from the training requirements of subsection (1) of this section if the occupational therapy practitioner has only brief or limited patient contact.

     (5)(a) The secretary and the disciplining authorities shall work collaboratively to develop a model list of training programs in suicide assessment, treatment, and management.

     (b) When developing the model list, the secretary and the disciplining authorities shall:

     (i) Consider suicide assessment, treatment, and management training programs of at least six hours in length listed on the best practices registry of the American foundation for suicide prevention and the suicide prevention resource center; and

     (ii) Consult with public and private institutions of higher education, experts in suicide assessment, treatment, and management, and affected professional associations.

     (c) The secretary and the disciplining authorities shall report the model list of training programs to the appropriate committees of the legislature no later than December 15, 2013.

     (6) Nothing in this section may be interpreted to expand or limit the scope of practice of any profession regulated under chapter 18.130 RCW.

     (7) The secretary and the disciplining authorities affected by this section shall adopt any rules necessary to implement this section.

     (8) For purposes of this section:

     (a) "Disciplining authority" has the same meaning as in RCW 18.130.020.

     (b) "Training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management" means empirically supported training approved by the appropriate disciplining authority that contains the following elements: Suicide assessment, including screening and referral, suicide treatment, and suicide management. However, the disciplining authority may approve training that includes only screening and referral elements if appropriate for the profession in question based on the profession's scope of practice. The board of occupational therapy may also approve training that includes only screening and referral elements if appropriate for occupational therapy practitioners based on practice setting.

     (9) A state or local government employee is exempt from the requirements of this section if he or she receives a total of at least six hours of training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management from his or her employer every six years. For purposes of this subsection, the training may be provided in one six-hour block or may be spread among shorter training sessions at the employer's discretion.

     (10) An employee of a community mental health agency licensed under chapter 71.24 RCW or a chemical dependency program certified under chapter 70.96A RCW is exempt from the requirements of this section if he or she receives a total of at least six hours of training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management from his or her employer every six years. For purposes of this subsection, the training may be provided in one six-hour block or may be spread among shorter training sessions at the employer's discretion.

[2013 c 78 § 1; 2013 c 73 § 6; 2012 c 181 § 2.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2013 c 73 § 6 and by 2013 c 78 § 1, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).

     Findings -- Intent -- 2012 c 181: "(1) The legislature finds that:

     (a) According to the centers for disease control and prevention:

     (i) In 2008, more than thirty-six thousand people died by suicide in the United States, making it the tenth leading cause of death nationally.

     (ii) During 2007-2008, an estimated five hundred sixty-nine thousand people visited hospital emergency departments with self-inflicted injuries in the United States, seventy percent of whom had attempted suicide.

     (iii) During 2008-2009, the average percentages of adults who thought, planned, or attempted suicide in Washington were higher than the national average.

     (b) According to a national study, veterans face an elevated risk of suicide as compared to the general population, more than twice the risk among male veterans. Another study has indicated a positive correlation between posttraumatic stress disorder and suicide.

     (i) Washington state is home to more than sixty thousand men and women who have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

     (ii) Research continues on how the effects of wartime service and injuries such as traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, or other service-related conditions, may increase the number of veterans who attempt suicide.

     (iii) As more men and women separate from the military and transition back into civilian life, community mental health providers will become a vital resource to help these veterans and their families deal with issues that may arise.

     (c) Suicide has an enormous impact on the family and friends of the victim as well as the community as a whole.

     (d) Approximately ninety percent of people who die by suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of death. Most suicide victims exhibit warning signs or behaviors prior to an attempt.

     (e) Improved training and education in suicide assessment, treatment, and management has been recommended by a variety of organizations, including the United States department of health and human services and the institute of medicine.

     (2) It is therefore the intent of the legislature to help lower the suicide rate in Washington by requiring certain health professionals to complete training in suicide assessment, treatment, and management as part of their continuing education, continuing competency, or recertification requirements.

     (3) The legislature does not intend to expand or limit the existing scope of practice of any health professional affected by this act." [2012 c 181 § 1.]

     Short title -- 2012 c 181: "This act may be known and cited as the Matt Adler suicide assessment, treatment, and management training act of 2012." [2012 c 181 § 4.]