County boards must provide or contract for enough mental health emergency services within the county to meet the needs of children, and children's families when clinically appropriate, in the county who are experiencing an emotional crisis or emotional disturbance. The county board shall ensure that parents, providers, and county residents are informed about when and how to access emergency mental health services for children. A child or the child's parent may be required to pay a fee according to section 245.481. Emergency service providers shall not delay the timely provision of emergency service because of delays in determining this fee or because of the unwillingness or inability of the parent to pay the fee. Emergency services must include assessment, crisis intervention, and appropriate case disposition. Emergency services must:
(1) promote the safety and emotional stability of children with emotional disturbances or emotional crises;
(2) minimize further deterioration of the child with emotional disturbance or emotional crisis;
(3) help each child with an emotional disturbance or emotional crisis to obtain ongoing care and treatment; and
(4) prevent placement in settings that are more intensive, costly, or restrictive than necessary and appropriate to meet the child's needs.
(a) The county board shall require that all service providers of emergency services to the child with an emotional disturbance provide immediate direct access to a mental health professional during regular business hours. For evenings, weekends, and holidays, the service may be by direct toll-free telephone access to a mental health professional, a mental health practitioner, or until January 1, 1991, a designated person with training in human services who receives clinical supervision from a mental health professional.
(b) The commissioner may waive the requirement in paragraph (a) that the evening, weekend, and holiday service be provided by a mental health professional or mental health practitioner after January 1, 1991, if the county documents that:
(1) mental health professionals or mental health practitioners are unavailable to provide this service;
(2) services are provided by a designated person with training in human services who receives clinical supervision from a mental health professional; and
(3) the service provider is not also the provider of fire and public safety emergency services.
(c) The commissioner may waive the requirement in paragraph (b), clause (3), that the evening, weekend, and holiday service not be provided by the provider of fire and public safety emergency services if:
(1) every person who will be providing the first telephone contact has received at least eight hours of training on emergency mental health services reviewed by the state advisory council on mental health and then approved by the commissioner;
(2) every person who will be providing the first telephone contact will annually receive at least four hours of continued training on emergency mental health services reviewed by the state advisory council on mental health and then approved by the commissioner;
(3) the local social service agency has provided public education about available emergency mental health services and can assure potential users of emergency services that their calls will be handled appropriately;
(4) the local social service agency agrees to provide the commissioner with accurate data on the number of emergency mental health service calls received;
(5) the local social service agency agrees to monitor the frequency and quality of emergency services; and
(6) the local social service agency describes how it will comply with paragraph (d).
(d) When emergency service during nonbusiness hours is provided by anyone other than a mental health professional, a mental health professional must be available on call for an emergency assessment and crisis intervention services, and must be available for at least telephone consultation within 30 minutes.