Governor Signs Red Flag Laws

capitol building

capitol buildingLegislation to create Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) was signed by Gov. Whitmer May 22. These new public acts allow for certain individuals, including healthcare providers, to file an ERPO if a person is a threat to themselves or others.

Healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to offer healing in times of need given the close relationship between providers and patients. Inclusion in the state’s “red flag” laws recognize the important role healthcare providers play in their communities. In instances where patients present and indicate they pose a significant risk to themselves or others, the newly signed legislation allows a provider to file an ERPO to protect that individual from self-harm or harm to others.

These Public Acts (PAs) establish the new “red flag” laws in Michigan.

  • PA 35 introduced by Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township).
  • PA 36 introduced by Rep. Stephanie Young (D-Detroit).
  • PA 37 introduced by Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi).
  • PA 38 introduced by Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).

Under the newly signed laws, a healthcare provider means “a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, certified nurse specialist, or a mental health professional.” Further, the law defines mental health professional as a person “who is trained and experienced in the area of mental illness or developmental disabilities and who is a physician, a psychologist, registered professional nurse, licensed or otherwise authorized master’s social worker, licensed or otherwise authorized professionally counselor, and a licensed or otherwise authorized marriage or family therapist.”

Healthcare providers are often the first interaction a resident has where an opportunity for care and harm prevention can be offered. Michigan’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law is another tool available for healthcare providers in responding to patient needs.

Members with questions on the Extreme Risk Protection Order law may contact Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA.