The Bree Collaborative voted to approve the mental health proviso as one of their topics. This means that the Collaborative will consider the impact of the Volk decision, specifically regarding the Duty to Warn bill—which AAPPN supported—which would have nullified many of the damaging impacts of Volk. The study period will begin in 2019.
We will keep you up-to-date on this process. We also urge you to learn more about the Bree Collaborative, which is an important resource for the state legislature on health care issues. The public is invited to call in to attend Collaborative meetings, and we will let you know upcoming meeting dates.
Senate Bill 5800, Duty to Warn, did not move out of the Judiciary Committee during the spring 2018 legislative session. Our lobbyists, Melissa Johnson and Jennifer Muhm, along with the lobbyists for the clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others, have worked with Rep. Jinkins to find an avenue to resolve the issue. The solution was to submit the case to the Bree Collaborative. The Bree Collaborative takes legislative subjects and creates an in-depth study. Bree is considered unbiased and is valued by legislators. The timeline for such a study is 1-2 years. A budget proviso to fund the study was included in the House budget.
AAPPN volunteers and representatives from the major stakeholder professions continue to meet to discuss this issue through the Volk Clinician/Attorney Workgroup Meeting. This spring, Melody Bemis and Kathy Wilmering attended the workgroup meeting. The discussion included a recent article on Volk, “The Therapist and the Murderer”, published in NWLawyer, the magazine of the Washington State Bar Association.