STAND. COM. REP. NO. 100
RE: S.B. No. 538
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 538 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize mental health professionals acting under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional to provide mental health treatment or counseling services to minors initiating mental health treatment without the consent of the minor's parent or legal guardian.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Mental Health America of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Psychological Association, Rainbow Family 808, and eleven individuals.
Your Committee finds that minors may initiate mental health services without having to obtain the permission of their parent or guardian. However, under existing law, these services may only be provided by licensed mental health professionals. Your Committee further finds that most readily available low- or no-cost mental health treatment or counseling services are provided by unlicensed professionals in the process of completing post-degree experience required for state licensure and who are practicing under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals. This measure reduces barriers for minors seeking mental health treatment by expanding authorized providers of minor-initiated mental health services to include mental health professionals who are in the process of completing state licensure and working under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying the definition of "mental health professional" to ensure all relevant professions are included; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstance amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 538, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 538, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair