Issuu on Google+

Main Reasons Practitioners Need Mental Health Liability Insurance A lawsuit can arise from pretty much anything. It usually is better to be safe than sorry, regardless how careful you are to not get in compromising predicaments, For practitioners which actually work with a "low risk" populations, mental health liability insurance is a must. The chance of a client committing suicide or harming others is a concern for mental health providers. Considering that mental health professionals are mandated reporters, they often risk a lawsuit by not adhering to legal and ethical obligations to report the following: child or elder abuse/neglect, threat of harm to self, or threat of harm to other individuals. Clients can certainly become angered for a multitude of reasons. Since they are mandated to report suspicious behavior concerning abuse or neglect, mental health practitioners are required by law to report this kind of behavior even if they do not have solid evidence. As assessment must be conducted when a person threatens to harm themselves and the practitioner has specified guidelines they must comply with. For example an individual has thoughts of suicide that involve a comprehensive plan, they would need to be examined in an inpatient setting. However, if a patient brings up in passing that they would not mind being run over by a bus, they would not necessarily be deemed a threat to themselves where they would have to have an emergency medical evaluation. A mental healthcare professional however, could be found responsible for those patients with obvious intent on harming themselves or others and a situation results. In the Tarasoff lawsuit, where a man told his mental health provider that he intended to murder his ex-girlfriend, this is a perfect example of why these regulations are in effect. That patient carried out his plan unfortunately. The requirements of the practitioner were at this juncture clearly defined to report those who threaten themselves and other individuals. A provider may break confidentiality if a client reports that he or she plans to harm others in a concise and clear way. The practitioner is lawfully obligated to alert the authorities in addition to the targeted potential victim. Keep in mind, situations are not always so clear-cut. As an example, an individual might exclaim, “My coworker annoys me so much I would just like to run him over with my car!†in a joking manner. If the client has no known history of erratic behavior or violence, the doctor perhaps may not deem the client a risk to others. The confidentiality wouldn't have to be broken at this stage by the provider. In other cases an individual may make vague threats or ramble on about doing harm to others. A practitioner cannot realistically alert law enforcement officials of a threat of harm to others when the threat is uncertain. Likewise, the practitioner cannot inform potential victims if none are revealed. It is a terrible catch22. A person with a history of impulsive behaviors and violence might make a threat to hurt others, but what preventative measures could the authorities or practitioner take? In the event an individual that is considered dangerous has made a imprecise threat to harm other people, all a mental health professional is able to do is hope. Setting the patient in a safe place is about the only option but there are other factors at play. Mental health liability insurance can assist professionals in a time of need. When a personal injury lawsuit results from an action that was not the fault of the professional, it is imperative to have the correct insurance to cover legal fees along with other necessary expenses. It is always much better to be safe than sorry. Protect yourself by

The Solutions Group

Page 1

Main Reasons Practitioners Need Mental Health Liability Insurance purchasing the correct insurance. Think about mental health liability insurance if you're a mental health care professional, to shield yourself plus your people from any kind of harm. For further particulars on The Solutions Group, pay a visit to them at their web site,

Document Tags: mental health malpractice insurance, mental health professional liability insurance, mental health liability insurance

The Solutions Group

Page 2

Main Reasons Practitioners Need Mental Health Liability Insurance