ASSEMBLY, No. 4604

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 22, 2022

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  KEVIN J. ROONEY

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Flynn and Dunn

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires suicide prevention training for mental health practitioners.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning suicide prevention training for mental health practitioners and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     “Mental health practitioner” means a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, alcohol and drug counselor, professional counselor, associate counselor, rehabilitation counselor, clinical mental health counselor, psychologist, or psychoanalyst who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized to practice pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

     “Suicide prevention training” means a training program, provided online, in person, or through telephonic means, concerning the prevention, assessment, screening, treatment, and management of suicide in the clinical context that has been approved by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety. 

 

     2.    a.   An applicant for licensure as a mental health practitioner shall complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training and provide proof of completion as a condition of licensure by the State Board of Social Work Examiners, the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners, the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee, the Professional Counselor Examiners Committee, the State Board of Psychological Examiners, or the Certified Psychoanalysts Advisory Committee, as applicable.  Following licensure, the mental health practitioner shall complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training every six years thereafter, and shall submit proof of completion to the appropriate licensing or certification board or committee.

     b.    A mental health practitioner licensed or otherwise authorized to practice in the State pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes as of the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training within one year following the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training every six years thereafter, and shall submit proof of completion to the appropriate licensing or certification board or committee.

     c.     The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall establish a list of approved suicide prevention training programs and a protocol by which providers of suicide prevention training may seek approval of their training programs by the division.  The division shall consider the suicide prevention training programs offered through or endorsed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and other nationally recognized suicide prevention organizations, in implementing the provisions of this subsection.  

     d.    The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, in consultation with the licensing and certification boards and committees designated in subsection a. of this section, shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), any rules and regulations deemed necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day next following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires suicide prevention training both as a condition of initial mental health licensure and as an ongoing requirement for mental health practitioners in the State.  The bill requires that new applicants for licensure as a mental health practitioner complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training and submit proof of completion to the appropriate State Board of Examiners or Committee.  Following licensure, mental health practitioners are to complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training every six years.  Mental health practitioners who are already licensed to practice on the effective date of the bill will be required to complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training within one year following the effective date of the bill, and every six years thereafter, and provide proof of completion to the appropriate licensing or certification board or committee.

     The bill defines “mental health practitioner” as a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, alcohol and drug counselor, professional counselor, associate counselor, rehabilitation counselor, clinical mental health counselor, psychologist, or psychoanalyst who is licensed or otherwise authorized to practice pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.  The bill defines “suicide prevention training” as a training program, provided online, in person, or through telephonic means, concerning the prevention, assessment, screening, treatment, and management of suicide in the clinical context that has been approved by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     The bill requires the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs to establish a list of approved suicide prevention training programs and a protocol by which providers of suicide prevention training may seek approval of their training programs by the division.