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Legislative Update

We offer this workshop whenever there are important changes in the Virginia laws and regulations that affect mental health professionals.  Some years bring more important changes than others.  As an example, we have provided below the outline of one of our workshops about the 2008 legal changes, most of which were precipitated by the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

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In 2008, the Virginia Legislature passed laws which may affect your practice regardless of whether you work privately, in a CSB, or in a state college counseling center. This presentation describes some of the legal changes that took effect July 1, 2008 and considers how they might affect your practice in ethical, legal, clinical, and practical ways.


I. Review of Legislative Changes

A. REPEAL of 20-124.3:1 – Removes privilege for parents’ records in custody cases

B. Colleges may require high school mental health records for admitted students

C. Public college counseling centers to notify parents if dependent student is at risk

D. New lower standard for involuntary civil commitment

E. Providers must disclose records to magistrate if requested for involuntary civil commitment

F. CSB required to monitor compliance with mandatory outpatient commitment

II. Ethical Implications

III. Practical Considerations

A. Informed Consent Conversation about Limits of Confidentiality

B. Decisions About Disclosure Policies

C. Implications for Information Disclosed to Schools

D. Implications in Child Custody Cases

E. Other Considerations

Educational Goals:
1. Describe relevant new Virginia laws.
2. Discuss the text of each new statute or new amendment .
3. Consider the ethical implications of each legal change .
4. Use clinical vignettes to discuss how each new law might apply in clinical practice.