Without Parental Consent, Florida Minors 13 Years or Older May Seek Out and Receive Mental Health Services

The MHA’s mission is to provide immediate access with no barriers to mental health care. “It’s Okay to Get Help!”

The 2021 Florida Statutes
Title XXIX

PUBLIC HEALTH Chapter 394 

MENTAL HEALTH View Entire Chapter 394.4784 Minors; access to outpatient crisis intervention services and treatment.—For the purposes of this section, the disability of nonage is removed for any minor age 13 years or older to access services under the following circumstances:

(1) OUTPATIENT DIAGNOSTIC AND EVALUATION SERVICES.—When any minor age 13 years or older experiences an emotional crisis to such degree that he or she perceives the need for professional assistance, he or she shall have the right to request, consent to, and receive mental health diagnostic and evaluative services provided by a licensed mental health professional, as defined by Florida Statutes, or in a mental health facility licensed by the state. The purpose of such services shall be to determine the severity of the problem and the potential for harm to the person or others if further professional services are not provided. Outpatient diagnostic and evaluative services shall not include medication and other somatic methods, aversive stimuli, or substantial deprivation. Such services shall not exceed two visits during any 1-week period in response to a crisis situation before parental consent is required for further services, and may include parental participation when determined to be appropriate by the mental health professional or facility.

(2) OUTPATIENT CRISIS INTERVENTION, THERAPY AND COUNSELING SERVICES.—When any minor age 13 years or older experiences an emotional crisis to such degree that he or she perceives the need for professional assistance, he or she shall have the right to request, consent to, and receive outpatient crisis intervention services including individual psychotherapy, group therapy, counseling, or other forms of verbal therapy provided by a licensed mental health professional, as defined by Florida Statutes, or in a mental health facility licensed by the state. Such services shall not include medication and other somatic treatments, aversive stimuli, or substantial deprivation. Such services shall not exceed two visits during any 1-week period in response to a crisis situation before parental consent is required for further services, and may include parental participation when determined to be appropriate by the mental health professional or facility.

(3) LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT.—The parent, parents, or legal guardian of a minor shall not be liable for payment for any such outpatient diagnostic and evaluation services or outpatient therapy and counseling services, as provided in this section, unless such parent, parents, or legal guardian participates in the outpatient diagnostic and evaluation services or outpatient therapy and counseling services and then only for the services rendered with such participation.

(4) PROVISION OF SERVICES.—No licensed mental health professional shall be obligated to provide services to minors accorded the right to receive services under this section. Provision of such services shall be on a voluntary basis.

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