1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Ferris
Senate Bill 2276
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-4-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THAT CERTIFICATES AND LICENSES ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH FOR MENTAL HEALTH PERSONNEL ARE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT ALREADY PROFESSIONALLY LICENSED, AND SHALL NOT BE TRANSFERABLE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-4-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-4-7. The State Board of Mental Health shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To appoint a full-time executive director of the Department of Mental Health, who shall be employed by the board and shall serve as executive secretary to the board. The first director shall be a duly licensed physician with special interest and competence in psychiatry, and shall possess a minimum of three (3) years' experience in clinical and administrative psychiatry. Subsequent directors shall possess at least a master's degree or its equivalent, and shall possess at least three (3) years' administrative experience in the field of health. The salary of the executive director shall be determined by the board;
(b) To set up state plans for the purpose of controlling and treating any and all forms of mental and emotional illness, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities;
(c) To supervise, coordinate and establish standards for all operations and activities of the state related to mental health and providing mental health services;
(d) To enter into contracts with any other state or federal agency, or with any private person, organization or group capable of contracting, if it finds such action to be in the public interest;
(e) To collect reasonable fees for its services; provided, however, if it is determined that a person receiving services is unable to pay the total fee, the department shall collect any amount such person is able to pay;
(f) To assist regional mental health and mental retardation commissions in the development of community or regional programs and services in mental health, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities throughout the state;
(g) To establish and promulgate reasonable minimum standards for the construction and operation of state facilities, including reasonable minimum standards for the admission, diagnosis, care, treatment, transfer of patients and their records, and also including reasonable minimum standards for providing day care, out-patient care, emergency care, in-patient care and follow-up care, when such care is provided for persons with mental or emotional illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities;
(h) To assist community or regional programs consistent with the purposes of this chapter by making grants from available funds;
(i) To establish and collect reasonable fees for necessary inspection services incidental to certification or compliance;
(j) To accept gifts, trusts, bequests, grants, endowments or transfers of property of any kind;
(k) To receive monies coming to it by way of fees for services or by appropriations;
(l) To serve as the single state agency in receiving and administering any and all funds available from any source for the purpose of training, research and education in regard to all forms of mental illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug misuse and developmental disabilities, unless such funds are specifically designated to a particular agency or institution by the federal government, the Mississippi Legislature or any other grantor;
(m) To establish mental health holding centers in each regional mental health/retardation commission district, for the purpose of providing short-term emergency mental health treatment, places for holding persons awaiting commitment proceedings or awaiting placement in a state mental health facility following commitment, and for diverting placement in a state mental health facility. The board may provide for all or part of the costs of establishing and operating the holding centers in each district from such funds as may be appropriated to the board for such use, and may participate in any plan or agreement with any public or private entity under which the entity will provide all or part of the costs of establishing and operating a holding center in any district. This paragraph (m) shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 1998;
(n) To certify/license case managers, mental health therapists, mental retardation therapists and others as deemed appropriate by the board. Persons already professionally licensed by another state board or agency are not required to be licensed under this section by the Department of Mental Health. The department shall not use professional titles in its licensure/certification process for which there is an independent licensing procedure. Such licensure/certification shall be valid only in the state mental health system, in programs funded and/or certified by the Department of Mental Health, and/or in programs licensed/certified by the State Department of Health which are operated by the State Mental Health System serving the mentally ill, mentally retarded, developmental disabled or persons with addictions; and shall not be transferable.
(o) The employees of the department, other than the executive director and heads of divisions and institutions, shall be governed by personnel merit system rules and regulations, the same as other employees in state services;
(p) To establish such rules and regulations as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter; and
(q) To grant easements for roads, utilities and any other purpose it finds to be in the public interest.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.