SAFE Act

The NY SAFE Act is designed to remove firearms from those who seek to do harm to themselves or others.   This means keeping the minority of individuals with serious mental illness who may be dangerous away from access to firearms. This law should not dissuade any individual from seeking mental health services they need.

The reporting requirement became effective on March 16, 2013.

Mental Hygiene Law 9.46 requires mental health professionals to report to their local director of community services (“DCS”) or his/her designees when, in their reasonable professional judgment, one of their patients is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.”

The reporting requirement extends to “mental health professionals,” defined in the law as four professions – physicians (including psychiatrists), psychologists, registered nurses, or licensed clinical social workers.

All persons receiving mental health treatment services from any of the four types of mental health professionals identified in the law, regardless of the setting in which they work, may be subjects of 9.46 reports.

A report is not required when, in the mental health professional’s reasonable professional judgment, a report would endanger him or her or would increase the danger to the potential victim or victims.