(May 18) – Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill by Rep. Mike Foote and Majority Leader Crisanta Duran today to give mental health professionals the discretion to disclose information if a client makes a threat against the safety of a school or its students.
Before HB16-1063 was signed in to law this afternoon at Sunset Middle School in Longmont, mental health professionals could not disclose any confidential communications made by their client, unless the threat was deemed “imminent.” This law creates an exemption if the client makes a specific and significant threat against a school. This grants more discretion to professionals in instances when a threat is serious and direct but not necessarily imminent.
“This bill is designed to keep our students safe while honoring the mental health profession,” said Rep. Foote, D-Lafayette. “Giving our mental health professionals who work outside the school the discretion to disclose a very serious threat to student safety is an important step to intervene and prevent dangerous situations.”
“This bill was carefully designed to respect the core responsibility of the mental health profession—confidentiality—while giving them greater flexibility to protect our kids,” said Majority Leader Duran, D-Denver.