☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 190

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  190.1010.  Peer support counseling, confidentiality, exceptions — requirements. — 1.  As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:

  (1)  "Employee", a first responder employed by an employer;

  (2)  "Employer", the state, a unit of local government, or a public hospital or ambulance service that employs first responders;

  (3)  "First responder", a 911 dispatcher, paramedic, emergency medical technician, or a volunteer or full-time paid firefighter;

  (4)  "Peer support advisor", a person approved by the employer who voluntarily provides confidential support and assistance to employees experiencing personal or professional problems.  An employer shall provide peer support advisors with an appropriate level of training in counseling to provide emotional and moral support;

  (5)  "Peer support counseling program", a program established by an employer to train employees to serve as peer support advisors in order to conduct peer support counseling sessions;

  (6)  "Peer support counseling session", communication with a peer support advisor designated by an employer.  A peer support counseling session is accomplished primarily through listening, assessing, assisting with problem solving, making referrals to a professional when necessary, and conducting follow-up as needed;

  (7)  "Record", any record kept by a therapist or by an agency in the course of providing behavioral health care to a first responder concerning the first responder and the services provided.  "Record" includes the personal notes of the therapist or agency, as well as all records maintained by a court that have been created in connection with, in preparation for, or as a result of the filing of any petition.  "Record" does not include information that has been de-identified in accordance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and does not include a reference to the receipt of behavioral health care noted during a patient history and physical or other summary of care.

  2.  (1)  Any communication made by an employee or peer support advisor in a peer support counseling session, as well as any oral or written information conveyed in the peer support counseling session, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed by any person participating in the peer support counseling session or released to any person or entity.  Any communication relating to a peer support counseling session made confidential under this section that is made between peer support advisors and the supervisors or staff of a peer support counseling program, or between the supervisor and staff of a peer support counseling program, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed.  The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit any communications between counselors who conduct peer support counseling sessions or any communications between counselors and the supervisors or staff of a peer support counseling program.

  (2)  Any communication described in subdivision (1) of this subsection may be subject to a subpoena for good cause shown.

  (3)  The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the following:

  (a)  Any threat of suicide or homicide made by a participant in a peer support counseling session or any information conveyed in a peer support counseling session related to a threat of suicide or homicide;

  (b)  Any information mandated by law or agency policy to be reported, including, but not limited to, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, or elder abuse or neglect;

  (c)  Any admission of criminal conduct; or

  (d)  Any admission or act of refusal to perform duties to protect others or the employee.

  (4)  All communications, notes, records, and reports arising out of a peer support counseling session shall not be considered public records subject to disclosure under chapter 610.

  (5)  A department or organization that establishes a peer support counseling program shall develop a policy or rule that imposes disciplinary measures against a peer support advisor who violates the confidentiality of the peer support counseling program by sharing information learned in a peer support counseling session with personnel who are not supervisors or staff of the peer support counseling program unless otherwise exempted under the provisions of this subsection.

  3.  Any employer that creates a peer support counseling program shall be subject to the provisions of this section.  An employer shall ensure that peer support advisors receive appropriate training in counseling to conduct peer support counseling sessions.  An employer may refer any person to a peer support advisor within the employer's organization or, if those services are not available with the employer, to another peer support counseling program that is available and approved by the employer.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an employer shall not mandate that any employee participate in a peer support counseling program.


(L. 2023 S.B. 24 merged with S.B. 186)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2023 ----

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