Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1131.04. Powers and duties of the Department of Mental Health.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Mental Health shall:

(1) Plan, develop, coordinate, and monitor comprehensive and integrated mental health systems of care for adults and for children, youth, and their families in the District, so as to maximize utilization of mental health services and mental health supports and to assure that services for priority populations identified in the Department’s annual plan are funded within the Department’s appropriations or authorizations by Congress and are available;

(2) Arrange for all authorized, publicly funded mental health services and mental health supports for the residents of the District, whether operated directly by, or through contract with, the Department except that DYRS shall be responsible for the provision of mental health services for youth in custody in DYRS secure facilities;

(3) Make grants, pay subsidies, purchase services, and provide reimbursement for mental health services and mental health supports;

(4) Arrange for, or if necessary directly provide, inpatient mental health services for all persons identified to the Department who meet criteria for admission for such services;

(5) Directly operate a hospital to provide inpatient mental health services, and seek to achieve and maintain the hospital’s certification by the Health Care Financing Administration;

(6) Directly operate one core services agency, for 3 years from December 18, 2001, or longer, as needed, to address the community mental health needs of the residents of the District;

(7) Arrange for a 24-hour, District-wide telephone communication service to provide intervention services for adults, children, and youth in need of mental health services and mental health supports including, but not limited to, observation, evaluation, emergency treatment, and when necessary, referral for mental health services and mental health supports;

(8) Beginning no later than October 1, 2001, be the exclusive agency to regulate all mental health services and mental health supports, including but not limited to housing services and residential treatment centers for children, but excluding the licensure of professionals, notwithstanding the licensing powers and responsibilities given to other District agencies and officials under the following laws:

(A) Subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47;

(B) Subchapter I-B of Chapter 28 of Title 47; and

(C) Subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 44;

(9) Facilitate the delivery of acute inpatient mental health services and mental health supports through community or public hospitals in the District, including coordinating comprehensive mental health services and mental health supports for children, youth, and their families;

(10) Arrange for the care of persons committed to the Department by the court pursuant to § 21-545, and arrange for their periodic evaluation and ongoing treatment;

(11) Serve as the “Compact Administrator” under Article X of the Interstate Compact on Mental Health as set forth in Chapter 11 of this title;

(12) Consistent with the purposes of this chapter, provide consultation and technical assistance to providers of mental health services and mental health supports who receive financial support from the Department;

(13) Upon request or on its own initiative, investigate, or ask another agency to investigate, any complaint alleging abuse or neglect of any consumer of mental health services, and, if the investigation by the Department or an investigation by any other agency or entity substantiates the charge of abuse or neglect, take appropriate action to correct the situation, including notification of other appropriate authorities;

(14) Independent of the District of Columbia Office of Personnel but consistent with Chapter 6 of Title 1, serve as the personnel authority for all employees of the Department, including exercising full authority to hire, retain, and terminate personnel, and to establish their compensation and reimbursement consistent with the District’s wage grade and non-wage grade schedules and the Congressionally-approved budget;

(15) Independent of the Office of Contracting and Procurement, exercise procurement authority to carry out the purposes of the Department, including contracting and contract oversight and exercise this authority consistent with Chapter 3A of Title 2 [§ 2-351.01 et seq.]; except that § 2-352.01(a) shall not apply;

(16) Take, hold, and administer in trust for the District any grant, devise, gift, or bequest made to the District or to the Department for the use of persons under its care or for the expenditure for any work which the Department is authorized to undertake; and

(17) Enter into memoranda of agreement with other agencies of the District to provide for the orderly transition of the licensure responsibilities set forth in this section.