State Laws

Washington Administrative Code (WAC)

Regulations of executive branch agencies are issued by authority of statutes. Like legislation and the Constitution, regulations are a source of primary law in Washington State. The WAC codifies the regulations and arranges them by subject or agency. The online version of the WAC is updated twice a month. For more info click here: WAC


State RCWs on Mental Health

The Washington State RCWs (Revised Code of Washington) which cover mental illness are found here:

RCW Title 71: Mental Illness

The RCWs referring specifically to mental health services for minors are found here:

RCW Chapter 71.34: Mental health services for minors.

NOTE TO PARENTS:  The RCW which pertains to a parent requesting services for a minor without consent required is reprinted below.  For more info click here:  RCW 71.34.600

RCW 71.34.600

“Parent may request determination whether minor has mental disorder requiring inpatient treatment — Minor consent not required — Duties and obligations of professional person and facility.

(1) A parent may bring, or authorize the bringing of, his or her minor child to an evaluation and treatment facility or an inpatient facility licensed under chapter 70.41, 71.12, or 72.23 RCW and request that the professional person as defined in *RCW 71.05.020(24) examine the minor to determine whether the minor has a mental disorder and is in need of inpatient treatment.

(2) The consent of the minor is not required for admission, evaluation, and treatment if the parent brings the minor to the facility.

(3) An appropriately trained professional person may evaluate whether the minor has a mental disorder. The evaluation shall be completed within twenty-four hours of the time the minor was brought to the facility, unless the professional person determines that the condition of the minor necessitates additional time for evaluation. In no event shall a minor be held longer than seventy-two hours for evaluation. If, in the judgment of the professional person, it is determined it is a medical necessity for the minor to receive inpatient treatment, the minor may be held for treatment. The facility shall limit treatment to that which the professional person determines is medically necessary to stabilize the minor’s condition until the evaluation has been completed. Within twenty-four hours of completion of the evaluation, the professional person shall notify the department if the child is held for treatment and of the date of admission.

(4) No provider is obligated to provide treatment to a minor under the provisions of this section except that no provider may refuse to treat a minor under the provisions of this section solely on the basis that the minor has not consented to the treatment. No provider may admit a minor to treatment under this section unless it is medically necessary.

(5) No minor receiving inpatient treatment under this section may be discharged from the facility based solely on his or her request.

(6) Prior to the review conducted under RCW 71.34.610, the professional person shall notify the minor of his or her right to petition superior court for release from the facility.

(7) For the purposes of this section “professional person” means “professional person” as defined in RCW 71.05.020.

[2005 c 371 § 4; 1998 c 296 § 17. Formerly RCW 71.34.052.]

*Reviser’s note: RCW 71.05.020 was amended by 2005 c 504 § 104, changing subsection (24) to subsection (26).

Finding — Intent–2005 c 371: “The legislature finds that, despite explicit statements in statute that the consent of a minor child is not required for a parent-initiated admission to inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment, treatment providers consistently refuse to accept a minor aged thirteen or over if the minor does not also consent to treatment. The legislature intends that the parent-initiated treatment provisions, with their accompanying due process provisions for the minor, be made fully available to parents.” [2005 c 371 § 1.]

Severability — 2005 c 371: “If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.” [2005 c 371 § 7.]

Findings — Intent — Part headings not law — Short title — 1998 c 296: See notes following RCW 74.13.025.

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