Mental Health Treatment for minors older than 12

I wrote about a pending bill in my fb post re mental health treatment of minors older than 12 years old which may not require parental knowledge (California SB543). The bill passed on 8/30/10, now awaiting the governor’s signature or veto.

The bill does not tell of the agenda of the author Mark Leno, but the argument in support of the bill does (see below).
An article in the west Hollywood news explains it clearly.

I have sympathy for gender confused youths, and all youths with mental health issues, especially those from uncaring and dysfunctional families. I would like them to receive needed treatments from qualified professionals.

But I have concerns about the biased counselors who may promote a lifestyle that is against traditional family value without parental consent.

If the counselors deem it inappropriate to inform parents, how would anyone know the reasons why? How are they held accountable since records are confidential?

You have young children. What do you think?

Is this issue important for you to look up the voting record of legislators for or against the bill?

Are there alternatives to address the mental health needs of our young people?

SB 543
An act to add Article 3 (commencing with Section 124260) to
Chapter 4 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code,
and to add Section 14029.8 to the Welfare and Institutions Code,
relating to mental health.

…mental health treatment or counseling of a minor authorized by
this section shall include involvement of the minor’s parent or
guardian, unless the professional person who is treating or
counseling the minor, after consulting with the minor, determines
that the involvement would be inappropriate. The professional
person who is treating or counseling the minor shall state in the
client record whether and when the person attempted to contact
the minor’s parent or guardian, and whether the attempt to contact
was successful or unsuccessful, or the reason why, in the
professional person’s opinion, it would be inappropriate to contact
the minor’s parent or guardian.

ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT : According to the author’s (LENO’s) office,
parental consent for mental health services can create a
barrier, especially in prevention and early intervention
programs where the youth may not be experiencing serious
physical or mental harm. The author’s office asserts that
this barrier is especially harmful to certain populations
of youth including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
youth, youth from abusive or neglectful homes, youth from
immigrant families, homeless youth, and youth whose
cultural backgrounds do not condone mental health services.
The author’s office states that this bill will help ensure
that youth do not have to wait until their mental health
deteriorates, and their safety is compromised by suicide,
substance abuse, or violence to receive services.

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 49-28, 08/30/10
AYES: Ammiano, Bass, Beall, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford,
Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles Calderon, Carter,
Chesbro, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, Eng, Evans,
Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Galgiani, Gatto, Hall,
Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jones, Lieu,
Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Monning, Nava, V. Manuel
Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana, Skinner,
Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Torrico, Yamada, John A. Perez
NOES: Adams, Anderson, Arambula, Bill Berryhill, Tom
Berryhill, Conway, Cook, DeVore, Fletcher, Fuller,
Gaines, Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Harkey, Jeffries,
Knight, Logue, Miller, Nestande, Niello, Nielsen, Norby,
Silva, Smyth, Audra Strickland, Tran, Villines

SENATE FLOOR : 23-14, 8/30/10 (Concurrence)
AYES: Alquist, Ashburn, Calderon, Cedillo, Corbett,
DeSaulnier, Ducheny, Florez, Hancock, Kehoe, Leno, Liu,
Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price,
Romero, Simitian, Steinberg, Wolk, Wright, Yee
NOES: Aanestad, Blakeslee, Cogdill, Correa, Denham, Dutton,
Emmerson, Harman, Hollingsworth, Huff, Runner,
Strickland, Walters, Wyland
NO VOTE RECORDED: Oropeza, Wiggins, Vacancy


About pnclaw

I am not a political activist, but I am paying attention to what's happening in our beloved country, especially for the sake of my grandchildren. I hope you are too.
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