On March 17th, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 41 by Senator Zaffirini. The bill addresses the use of restraints in state supported living centers (SSLCs) and includes the following provisions:
- Prohibits the use of restraints in state supported living centers (SSLCs) unless the restraint is necessary to prevent imminent physical harm to the individual or others.
- Prohibits restraints from being included in behavior plans as a behavior management strategy.
- Prohibits standing physician orders for restraints.
- Prohibits the use of strait jackets.
- Requires SSLCs to report each incident of restraint to the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.
Having passed the Senate, the bill has been referred to the House Committee on Human Services for consideration. A date for the House hearing has not been set. To follow the progress of SB 41, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has worked on the issue of seclusion and restraint reduction for the past seven years. The foundation is currently developing a training and technical assistance project designed to support SSLCs and residential treatment centers to significantly reduce the use of seclusion and restraint. Simply prohibiting seclusion and restraint in these facilities is not enough. Facility staff must be educated on alternative practices and how to safely implement those alternatives. By offering comprehensive training opportunities and access to ongoing technical assistance, the foundation believes that culture change is possible and the desired goal of limiting seclusion and restraint to emergency situations is achievable.
For more information contact Sarah Kidder at firstname.lastname@example.org.