There shall be established the Massachusetts Commission on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Management to be comprised of seven members; The Governor or his/her designee, the Attorney General or his/her designee, the Secretary of Health and Human Services or his/her designee, the Commissioner of The Department of Mental Health or his/her designee, the Commissioner of Executive Office of Public Safety and Security or his/her designee, the Speaker of the House or his/her designee, and the Senate President or his/her designee.
Said commission shall examine the state of suicide prevention and mental health crisis management in the Commonwealth. The commission will include in its study emergency and outpatient care needs, inpatient and long-term care needs, facility and infrastructure needs, public information and outreach; professional training needs and potential shortages, establishing a dedicated fund suitable to accept donations from charitable organizations for said needs and other means of funding sources.
Said commission shall examine current and proposed suicide prevention and mental health crisis management measures including but not limited to counseling services, diversionary programs, doctors’ interventions, police wellness visits, court programs, youth education, Sections 12 and Section 35 of Chapter 123 and shall issue a report no later than January 1 2020 with recommendations for improvements to those efforts including expanded access, additional channels of communication, improvements to follow up programs, assistance on securing a home from materials that could be a danger to individuals who may be a risk to themselves, and increased marketing.
Said commission shall also report on the current relative statistics regarding suicide and the means of suicide as established by the Injury Surveillance Program under the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and shall also include legal information on how certain means of suicide or harm such as firearms, excessive medications or alcohol, suffocation or hanging can be handled if believed to be a potential hazard.
The Department of Mental Health shall establish a Friends and Family Suicide Prevention Hotline for the purpose of suicide prevention, intervention, and other mental health crisis management. The hotline shall provide assistance to those who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or friends of family members that are concerned for another person. Means of contact for the hotline shall include, but not be limited to, phone, text message, email, and/or live online chat. The hotline monitors shall be trained in suicide prevention and mental health crisis management shall provide information on available professional assistance and intervention. The hotline shall also provide information on intervention means that exist within the Commonwealth including, but not limited to, wellness visits by local law enforcement, Sections 12, Section 12A and Section 35 of Chapter 123 as well as other intervention means. All information gathered through the hotline shall be confidential unless the caller specifically authorizes the agency otherwise.
The Department of Mental Health shall develop materials available to the public for a wellness follow up program. The program shall offer assistance on how to conduct a home inspection for materials that could be a danger to person who may be a risk to themselves as well as information on mental health wellness assistance. The information shall also include legal information on how certain means of suicide or harm such as firearms, excessive medications or alcohol can be legally and safely handled if found.
The Department of Mental Health shall develop public relation materials, public service announcements and other means to make the general public aware of the hotline and other services.
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