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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 177 : The Commissioner of Mental Health

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 7401)
  • § 7401. Powers and duties

    Except insofar as this part of this title specifically confers certain powers, duties, and functions upon others, the Commissioner shall be charged with its administration. The Commissioner may:

    (1) With the approval of the Governor, organize the Agency, including the creation, rearrangement, and abolition of divisions and lesser units and control and coordinate services as to most efficiently carry out the purposes of this part.

    (2) Adopt, amend, and repeal and enforce rules not inconsistent with this part as are reasonably necessary for its operation.

    (3) Designate, control, and supervise the property, affairs, and operation of hospitals and institutions equipped and otherwise qualified to provide inpatient care and treatment for individuals who are mentally ill.

    (4) Supervise the operation of community mental health units.

    (5) Supervise the care and treatment of individuals within his or her custody.

    (6) Provide for the hospitalization of mentally ill patients in designated hospitals or institutions of Vermont or negotiate and enter into contracts that shall incorporate safeguards consistent with this part of this title, with any hospital or institution for the care and treatment of patients in any other state.

    (7) Prescribe the form of applications, records, reports, and medical certificates required by the statutes and the information to be contained therein and supply them to physicians and the Probate Division of the Superior Courts.

    (8) Require reports from the head of a hospital or other institution concerning the care of patients.

    (9) Visit each hospital or institution and review methods of care for all patients.

    (10) Investigate complaints made by a patient, his or her attorney, or an interested party on his or her behalf.

    (11) Establish rates, charges, and fees for the care of patients in hospitals and determine ability to pay, liability for payments, and amounts to be paid and bill for and collect those amounts with the aid of the Attorney General.

    (12) Receive gifts and bequests of real and personal estate made for the use and benefit of any State hospital and invest any monies so received in safe, interest-bearing securities in the corporate name of the hospital.

    (13) Delegate to any officer or agency of Vermont any of the duties and powers imposed upon him or her by this part of this title. The delegation of authority and responsibility shall not relieve the Commissioner of accountability for the proper administration of this part of this title.

    (14) Plan and coordinate the development of community services that are needed to assist children and adolescents with or at risk for a severe emotional disturbance and individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability to become as financially and socially independent as possible. These services shall consist of residential, vocational, rehabilitative, day treatment, inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services, as well as client assessment, prevention, family, and individual support services, and such other services as may be required by federal law or regulations.

    (15) Contract with community mental health centers to ensure that children and adolescents with or at risk for a severe emotional disturbance or individuals with a mental condition or psychiatric disability can receive information, referral, and assistance in obtaining those community services that they need and to which they are lawfully entitled.

    (16) Contract with accredited educational or health care institutions for psychiatric services at the Vermont State Hospital or its successor in interest.

    (17) Ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with or at risk for a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the Secretary of Education and the Commissioner for Children and Families in accordance with the provisions of 33 V.S.A. chapter 43.

    (18) Ensure the development of community-based prevention and early intervention services for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services throughout all parts of the public and private health care delivery systems.

    (19) Ensure the development of chronic care services, addressing mental health and substance abuse, for children and adults and ensure the coordination of these services with other chronic care initiatives, including the Blueprint for Health, and the care coordination and case management programs of the Department of Vermont Health Access.

    (20) Ensure the coordination of mental health, physical health, and substance abuse services provided by the public and private health care delivery systems.

    (21) Ensure the coordination of public mental health and substance abuse services with mental health and substance abuse services offered through the private health care delivery system, including services offered by primary care physicians.

    (22) Oversee and seek to have patients receive treatment in secure residential recovery facilities as defined in subsection 7620(e) of this title. (Added 1967, No. 305 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1968; amended 1977, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4; 1985, No. 225 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 1987, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 8, 9; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 39; 2007, No. 15, § 13a; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § C11; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.24; 2011, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. April 4, 2012; 2011, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 17, 2012; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 257, 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 104; 2023, No. 6, § 199, eff. July 1, 2023.)