SENATE BILL 65
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
RELATING TO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH; ENACTING THE SAFE HOUSE ACT; ESTABLISHING THE SAFE HOUSE AND CRISIS FUND; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Safe House Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Safe House Act:
A. "adjunct services" means nonconventional behavioral health services offered as complementary to or integrated with conventional behavioral health services, including art therapy, acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, mindfulness meditation, visualization, breath meditation and transcendental meditation;
B. "core services" means conventional behavioral health services that are essential to outpatient treatment, including group counseling and therapy, individual counseling, psychoeducational programming, pharmacotherapy and medication management, ambulatory detoxification, pharmacotherapies for addiction, monitoring of alcohol and drug use, case management, facilitation to community-based support groups and referral to medical treatment, vocational training and employment services;
C. "department" means the human services department;
D. "early intervention services" means services designed to provide a resident a safe, supportive and affirming nonclinical residence where the person may access behavioral health services to integrate the meaning of what the person is experiencing and regain equilibrium and the ability to relate effectively to other people. "Early intervention services" includes peer support with an emphasis on relationship-building;
E. "enhanced services" means services that are added and delivered either on-site or through functional and formal linkages with community-based agencies or individual providers, including adult education, transportation services, housing and food programs, recreational activities, nicotine-cessation treatment, licensed child care and parenting skills training;
F. "peer support specialist" means a person who has previously experienced urgent behavioral health needs and has recovered and who has successfully completed training qualifying that person to work with a resident;
G. "resident" means an adult who is experiencing symptoms related to urgent behavioral health needs but does not require hospitalization and who voluntarily resides in a safe house; and
H. "safe house" means a nonclinical environment that offers early intervention services by housing no more than six voluntary residents who engage in routine activities of daily living and learn about tools for recovery through experience and peer support.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] PEER SUPPORT TRAINING.--The department shall provide by rule for training and credentialing of peer support specialists; provided that each peer support specialist shall personally have experienced urgent behavioral health needs and shall be certified as having completed training in de-escalation techniques, cultural competency, race relations, the recovery process and avoidance of aggressive confrontation prior to working at a safe house.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] SAFE HOUSE PROGRAM-- ELIGIBILITY.--
A. The department shall administer safe houses in rural and urban communities.
B. A safe house authorized by this section shall offer early intervention services that:
(1) serve residents who are eligible for the services and not eligible for federal medical assistance programs;
(2) are staffed twenty-four hours a day by one or more peer support specialists;
(3) employ a licensed clinician full time and a psychiatric consultant at least part time;
(4) facilitate reentry into independent living;
(5) offer a mix of core services, enhanced services and adjunct services;
(6) accept a resident, on a first-come, first-served basis;
(7) base length of stay on mental health screening and assessment tools; and
(8) are a part of a system of care continuum to include the interagency behavioral health purchasing collaborative's housing initiatives, local housing programs, community-based support services and the department's comprehensive community support services program.
C. Within one week of a resident's departure from a safe house, the department shall refer the resident to a service provider to coordinate care and provide support for the resident.
D. As part of the planning and development of the safe houses, the department shall consult with community stakeholders, including those who use the behavioral health system and their family members, providers of conventional, complementary or integrative behavioral health services, advocates, local collaboratives, local planning and zoning entities, the behavioral health planning council and others with subject matter expertise.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] SAFE HOUSE AND CRISIS FUND-- CREATED--PURPOSE.--The "safe house and crisis fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of appropriations, gifts, grants and donations. Balances in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund. The interagency behavioral health purchasing collaborative shall administer the fund for the purpose of providing early intervention services to persons with urgent behavioral health needs. Disbursements may be made on warrants drawn by the secretary of finance and administration upon vouchers signed by the secretary of human services.
SECTION 6. APPROPRIATION.--One million dollars ($1,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the human services department for expenditure in fiscal year 2020 and subsequent fiscal years to administer a safe house program to provide early intervention services to persons with urgent behavioral health needs in rural and urban communities. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
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