(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.
(b) "Emergency service provider" includes a peace officer, correctional officer, probation officer, supervision agent, firefighter, rescue squad member, dispatcher, hospital or emergency medical clinic personnel, a person who provides emergency medical services for a Minnesota licensed ambulance service, forensic science professional, or other person involved with public safety emergency services, either paid or volunteer.
(c) "Peer support counselor" means an individual who is:
(1) specially trained to provide public safety peer counseling services in accordance with standards that are both (i) established by an accredited mental health organization or network, and (ii) recognized by the commissioner of public safety; and
(2) designated by the emergency service provider's agency to provide such services.
(d) "Public safety peer counseling" means one or more sessions, led by a peer support counselor, designed to help an emergency service provider who experienced an occupation-related trauma, illness, or stress develop skills and strategies to better understand, cope with, and process emotions and memories tied to the trauma, illness, or stress. Public safety peer counseling includes group sessions led by a peer support counselor, one-to-one contact with a peer support counselor, and meetings with a peer support counselor to obtain referrals to appropriate mental health or community support services.
A peer support counselor may not provide public safety peer counseling to an emergency service provider if the emergency service provider is seeking public safety peer counseling to address a critical incident, as defined in section 181.9732, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), to which the peer support counselor is a witness. A peer support counselor may refer the person to another peer support counselor or other appropriate mental health or community support service.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision 4, a peer support counselor or any person who receives public safety peer counseling shall not be required to disclose information to a third party that was obtained solely through the provision or receipt of public safety peer counseling.
(b) Government data on individuals receiving peer counseling are classified as private data on individuals, as defined by section 13.02, subdivision 12, but may be disclosed as provided in subdivision 4.
The prohibition established under subdivision 3 does not apply if any of the following are true:
(1) the peer support counselor reasonably believes the disclosure is necessary to prevent harm to self by the person in receipt of public safety peer counseling or to prevent the person from harming another person, provided the disclosure is only for the purpose of preventing the person from harming self or others and limited to information necessary to prevent such harm;
(2) the person receiving public safety peer counseling discloses information that is required to be reported under the mandated reporting laws, including, but not limited to, the reporting of maltreatment of minors under chapter 260E and the reporting of maltreatment of vulnerable adults under section 626.557, provided the disclosure is only for the purpose of reporting maltreatment and limited to information necessary to make such a report;
(3) the person who received public safety peer counseling provides written consent authorizing disclosure of the information;
(4) the emergency service provider who received public safety peer counseling is deceased and the surviving spouse or administrator of the estate of the deceased emergency service provider gives written consent authorizing disclosure of the information; or
(5) the emergency service provider who received public safety peer counseling voluntarily testifies, in which case the peer support counselor may be compelled to testify on the same subject.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes