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Gun control plan won't change mental health requirements in Oklahoma
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Gun control plan won't change mental health requirements in Oklahoma

Gun control plan won't change mental health requirements in Oklahoma
President Barack Obama speaks about gun laws.

Gun control plan won't change mental health requirements in Oklahoma

Mental health experts tell KRMG that the mental health aspects of President Obama's gun control plan won't change much here in Oklahoma.

Dr. Dale Doty leads the Christian Family Institute in Tulsa.

He  tells KRMG that mental health professionals in Oklahoma have been required for years to report credible threats.

Doty says, "I didn't hear anything new yesterday (Wednesday) and in fact I heard a lot of vagueness where we are actually rather specific with our laws in Oklahoma."

Doty says Oklahoma could set the standard for the rest of the country.

Doty says, "Maybe there will be a national standard rather than simply a state standard. Maybe we'll end up adopting these same 'duty to warn' requirements across the board, across disciplines."

By law, Oklahoma psychologists therapists and counselors are required to disclose to their patients the limits of patient confidentiality.

'Duty to warn' kicks in when the patient has communicated an explicit threat to kill or inflict serious bodily injury upon a reasonably identified person and the patient has the apparent intent and ability to carry out the threat. 

In such circumstances the psychologist shall have a duty to take reasonable precautions.

Those reasonable efforts include one or more of the following:

  1. Communicates a threat of death or serious bodily injury to the reasonably identified person.
  2. Notifies an appropriate law enforcement agency in the vicinity where the patient or any potential victim resides.
  3. Arranges for the patient to be hospitalized voluntarily.
  4. Takes appropriate steps to initiate proceedings for involuntary hospitalization pursuant to law.
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