TITLE 40.1
Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals

CHAPTER 40.1-5
Mental Health Law

SECTION 40.1-5-2

§ 40.1-5-2. Definitions.

Whenever used in this chapter, or in any order, rule, or regulation made or promulgated pursuant to this chapter, or in any printed forms prepared by the department or the director, unless otherwise expressly stated, or unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires:

(1) "Alternatives to admission or certification" means alternatives to a particular facility or treatment program, and shall include, but not be limited to, voluntary or court-ordered outpatient treatment, day treatment in a hospital, night treatment in a hospital, placement in the custody of a friend or relative, placement in a nursing home, referral to a community mental health clinic and home health aide services, or any other services that may be deemed appropriate.

(2) "Care and treatment" means psychiatric care, together with such medical, nursing, psychological, social, rehabilitative, and maintenance services as may be required by a patient in association with the psychiatric care provided pursuant to an individualized treatment plan recorded in the patient's medical record.

(3) "Department" means the state department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals.

(4) "Director" means the director of the state department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals.

(5) "Facility" means a state hospital or psychiatric inpatient facility in the department, a psychiatric inpatient facility maintained by a political subdivision of the state for the care and/or treatment of the mentally disabled; a general or specialized hospital maintaining staff and facilities for this purpose; any of the several community mental health services established pursuant to chapter 8.5 of this title; and any other facility within the state providing inpatient psychiatric care and/or treatment and approved by the director upon application of this facility. Included within this definition shall be all hospitals, institutions, facilities, and services under the control and direction of the director and the department, as provided in this chapter. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to amend or repeal any of the provisions of chapter 16 of title 23.

(6) "Indigent person" means a person who has not sufficient property or income to support himself or herself, and to support the members of his or her family dependent upon him or her for support, and/or is unable to pay the fees and costs incurred pursuant to any legal proceedings conducted under the provisions of this chapter.

(7) "Likelihood of serious harm" means:

(i) A substantial risk of physical harm to the person himself or herself as manifested by behavior evidencing serious threats of, or attempts at, suicide;

(ii) A substantial risk of physical harm to other persons as manifested by behavior or threats evidencing homicidal or other violent behavior; or

(iii) A substantial risk of physical harm to the mentally disabled person as manifested by behavior that has created a grave, clear, and present risk to his or her physical health and safety.

(iv) In determining whether there exists a likelihood of serious harm, the physician and the court may consider previous acts, diagnosis, words, or thoughts of the patient. If a patient has been incarcerated, or institutionalized, or in a controlled environment of any kind, the court may give great weight to such prior acts, diagnosis, words, or thoughts.

(8) "Mental disability" means a mental disorder in which the capacity of a person to exercise self-control or judgment in the conduct of his or her affairs and social relations, or to care for his or her own personal needs, is significantly impaired.

(9) "Mental health professional" means a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker and such other persons, including psychiatric nurse clinicians, as may be defined by rules and regulations promulgated by the director.

(10) "NICS database" means the National Instant Criminal Background Check System as created pursuant to section 103(b) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act), Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536 as established by 28 C.F.R. 25.1.

(11) "Patient" means a person certified or admitted to a facility according to the provisions of this chapter.

(12) "Physician" means a person duly licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in this state.

(13) "Psychiatric nurse clinician" means a licensed, professional registered nurse with a master's degree in psychiatric nursing or related field who is currently working in the mental health field as defined by the American Nurses Association.

(14) "Psychiatrist" means a person duly licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in this state who has, in addition, completed three (3) years of graduate psychiatric training in a program approved by the American Medical Association or American Osteopathic Association.

(15) "Psychologist" means a person certified pursuant to chapter 44 of title 5.

(16) "Social worker" means a person with a masters or further advanced degree from a school of social work, that is accredited by the council of social work education.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1966, ch. 100, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 40-20-2; Reorg. Plan No. 1, 1970; P.L. 1974, ch. 119, § 1; P.L. 1976, ch. 203, § 1; P.L. 1976, ch. 215, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 345, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 173, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 216, § 28; P.L. 2014, ch. 423, § 2; P.L. 2014, ch. 455, § 2; P.L. 2020, ch. 79, art. 1, § 38.)