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Assembly Bill 665 – Amends The Family Code To Allow Minors Covered By Medi-Cal Access To Mental Health Treatment And Counseling Without Parental Or Legal Guardian Consent
Existing law authorizes a minor who is 12 years of age or older to consent to mental health treatment or counseling on an outpatient basis or to residential shelter services, if the minor is mature enough to participate intelligently in the outpatient services or resident shelter services, if the minor would present a danger of serious physical or mental health to themselves or to other, or the minor is the alleged victim of incest or child abuse. Existing law also requires in certain situations the minor’s parent or legal guardian’s involvement when seeking services unless the professional person treating or counseling the minor, after consultation with the minor, determines such involvement would be inappropriate.
AB 665 amends existing law to make it easier for minors to receive mental health treatment without consent from a parent or legal guardian as required by Medi-Cal. The bill removes the requirement that minors are only able to consent to health care treatment or counseling if the minor presents a danger of serious physical or mental harm to themselves or others or is an alleged victim of incest or child abuse.
The bill also amends existing law to require the professional person treating or counseling the minor to consult with the minor before determining whether involvement of the minor’s parent or legal guardian is inappropriate.
AB 665 amends the existing definition of professional person to include a registered psychologist, a registered psychological assistant, a psychological trainee, an associate clinical social worker, a social work intern, a clinical counselor trainee working under the supervision of a licensed professional, and a board-certified psychiatrist.
AB 665 expands mental health treatment services to minors by allowing minors to consent for treatment covered by Medi-Cal. Existing law does not permit a minor to consent to mental health treatment or counseling covered by Medi-Cal and requires consent from the parental or legal guardian.
AB 665 is effective January 1, 2024, but the provisions of the bill are operative July 1, 2024.
(AB 665 amends, repeals, and adds Section 6924 to the Education Code.)