Alaska Statutes.
Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
Chapter 30. Mental Health
Section 915. Definitions.
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AS 47.30.915. Definitions.

In AS 47.30.660 - 47.30.915

(1) "commissioner" means the commissioner of health and social services;

(2) "court" means a superior court of the state;

(3) "department" means the Department of Health and Social Services;

(4) "designated treatment facility" or "treatment facility" means a hospital, clinic, institution, center, or other health care facility that has been designated by the department for the treatment or rehabilitation of mentally ill persons under AS 47.30.670 - 47.30.915 but does not include correctional institutions;

(5) "evaluation facility" means a health care facility that has been designated or is operated by the department to perform the evaluations described in AS 47.30.660 - 47.30.915, or a medical facility licensed under AS 47.32 or operated by the federal government;

(6) "evaluation personnel" means mental health professionals designated by the department to conduct evaluations as prescribed in AS 47.30.660 - 47.30.915 who conduct evaluations in places in which no staffed evaluation facility exists;

(7) "gravely disabled" means a condition in which a person as a result of mental illness

(A) is in danger of physical harm arising from such complete neglect of basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, or personal safety as to render serious accident, illness, or death highly probable if care by another is not taken; or

(B) will, if not treated, suffer or continue to suffer severe and abnormal mental, emotional, or physical distress, and this distress is associated with significant impairment of judgment, reason, or behavior causing a substantial deterioration of the person's previous ability to function independently;

(8) "inpatient treatment" means care and treatment rendered inside or on the premises of a treatment facility, or a part or unit of a treatment facility, for a continual period of 24 hours or longer;

(9) "least restrictive alternative" means mental health treatment facilities and conditions of treatment that are

(A) no more harsh, hazardous, or intrusive than necessary to achieve the treatment objectives of the patient; and

(B) involve no restrictions on physical movement nor supervised residence or inpatient care except as reasonably necessary for the administration of treatment or the protection of the patient or others from physical injury;

(10) "likely to cause serious harm" means a person who

(A) poses a substantial risk of bodily harm to that person's self, as manifested by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening that harm;

(B) poses a substantial risk of harm to others as manifested by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening harm, and is likely in the near future to cause physical injury, physical abuse, or substantial property damage to another person; or

(C) manifests a current intent to carry out plans of serious harm to that person's self or another;

(11) "mental health professional" means a psychiatrist or physician who is licensed by the State Medical Board to practice in this state or is employed by the federal government; a clinical psychologist licensed by the state Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners; a psychological associate trained in clinical psychology and licensed by the Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners; a registered nurse with a master's degree in psychiatric nursing, licensed by the State Board of Nursing; a marital and family therapist licensed by the Board of Marital and Family Therapy; a professional counselor licensed by the Board of Professional Counselors; a clinical social worker licensed by the Board of Social Work Examiners; and a person who

(A) has a master's degree in the field of mental health;

(B) has at least 12 months of post-masters working experience in the field of mental illness; and

(C) is working under the supervision of a type of licensee listed in this paragraph;

(12) "mental illness" means an organic, mental, or emotional impairment that has substantial adverse effects on an individual's ability to exercise conscious control of the individual's actions or ability to perceive reality or to reason or understand; mental retardation, epilepsy, drug addiction, and alcoholism do not per se constitute mental illness, although persons suffering from these conditions may also be suffering from mental illness;

(13) "peace officer" includes a state police officer, municipal or other local police officer, state, municipal, or other local health officer, public health nurse, United States marshal or deputy United States marshal, or a person authorized by the court;

(14) "persons with mental disorders" has the meaning given in AS 47.30.610;

(15) "professional person in charge" means the senior mental health professional at a facility or that person's designee; in the absence of a mental health professional it means the chief of staff or a physician designated by the chief of staff;

(16) "provider of outpatient care" means a mental health professional or hospital, clinic, institution, center, or other health care facility designated by the department to accept for treatment patients who are ordered to undergo involuntary outpatient treatment by the court or who are released early from inpatient commitments on condition that they undergo outpatient treatment;

(17) "screening investigation" means the investigation and review of facts that have been alleged to warrant emergency examination or treatment, including interviews with the persons making the allegations, any other significant witnesses who can readily be contacted for interviews, and, if possible, the respondent, and an investigation and evaluation of the reliability and credibility of persons providing information or making allegations;

(18) "state" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the territories and possessions of the United States, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and, with the approval of the United States Congress, Canada.


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