Ch. 51 Cross-reference
See s. 46.011
for definitions applicable to chs. 46
, and 58
Legislative policy. 51.001(1)
It is the policy of the state to assure the provision of a full range of treatment and rehabilitation services in the state for all mental disorders and developmental disabilities and for mental illness, alcoholism and other drug abuse. There shall be a unified system of prevention of such conditions and provision of services which will assure all people in need of care access to the least restrictive treatment alternative appropriate to their needs, and movement through all treatment components to assure continuity of care, within the limits of available state and federal funds and of county funds required to be appropriated to match state funds.
To protect personal liberties, no person who can be treated adequately outside of a hospital, institution or other inpatient facility may be involuntarily treated in such a facility.
History: 1975 c. 430
; 1995 a. 92
As used in this chapter, except where otherwise expressly provided:
“Alcoholic" means a person who is suffering from alcoholism.
“Alcoholism" is a disease which is characterized by the dependency of a person on the drug alcohol, to the extent that the person's health is substantially impaired or endangered or his or her social or economic functioning is substantially disrupted.
“Approved treatment facility" means any publicly or privately operated treatment facility or unit thereof approved by the department for treatment of alcoholic, drug dependent, mentally ill or developmentally disabled persons.
“Approved tribal treatment facility" means a treatment agency that operates under the direction and control of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band in this state and meets the standards prescribed for approved treatment facilities under s. 51.45 (8) (a)
and is approved under s. 51.45 (8) (c)
“Brain injury" means any injury to the brain, regardless of age at onset, whether mechanical or infectious in origin, including brain trauma, brain damage and traumatic head injury, the results of which are expected to continue indefinitely, which constitutes a substantial handicap to the individual, and which directly results in any 2 or more of the following:
“Brain injury" includes any injury to the brain under par. (a)
that is vascular in origin if received by a person prior to his or her attaining the age of 22 years.
“Brain injury" does not include alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease as specified under s. 46.87 (1) (a)
, or degenerative brain disorder, as defined in s. 55.01 (1v)
“Center for the developmentally disabled" means any facility which is operated by the department and which provides services including, but not limited to, 24-hour treatment, consultation, training and education for developmentally disabled persons.
“Community mental health program" means a program to provide community-based outpatient mental health services that is operated by or under contract with a county department of community programs or that requests payment for the services under the medical assistance program or under benefits required under s. 632.89 (2)
“Community support program" means a coordinated care and treatment system that provides a network of services through an identified treatment program and staff to ensure ongoing therapeutic involvement and individualized treatment in the community for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness.
“Conditional transfer" means a transfer of a patient or resident to a less restrictive environment for treatment which is made subject to conditions imposed for the benefit of the patient or resident.
“County of residence" means the county that is determined under s. 51.40
to be the county of residence.
“Degenerative brain disorder" means the loss or dysfunction of brain cells to the extent that the individual is substantially impaired in his or her ability to provide adequately for his or her own care or custody or to manage adequately his or her property or financial affairs.
“Developmental disability" means a disability attributable to brain injury, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, Prader-Willi syndrome, intellectual disability, or another neurological condition closely related to an intellectual disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for individuals with an intellectual disability, which has continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely and constitutes a substantial handicap to the afflicted individual. “Developmental disability" does not include dementia that is primarily caused by degenerative brain disorder.
“Developmental disability", for purposes of involuntary commitment, does not include cerebral palsy or epilepsy.
“Director" means the person in charge of a state treatment facility, state or local treatment center, or approved private facility.
“Discharge" of a patient who is under involuntary commitment orders means a termination of custody and treatment obligations of the patient to the authority to which the patient was committed by court action. The “discharge" of a patient who is voluntarily admitted to a treatment program or facility means a termination of treatment obligations between the patient and the treatment program or facility.
“Drug dependence" means a disease that is characterized by a person's use of one or more drugs that is beyond the person's ability to control to the extent that the person's physical health is substantially impaired or his or her social or economic functioning is substantially disrupted.
“Drug dependent" means suffering from drug dependence.
“Inpatient facility" means a public or private hospital or unit of a hospital which has as its primary purpose the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of mental illness, developmental disability, alcoholism or drug abuse and which provides 24-hour care.
“Law enforcement officer" means any person who by virtue of the person's office or public employment is vested by law with the duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for crimes while acting within the scope of the person's authority.
“Mental health institute" means any institution operated by the department for specialized psychiatric services, research, education, and which is responsible for consultation with community programs for education and quality of care.
“Mental illness" means mental disease to such extent that a person so afflicted requires care and treatment for his or her own welfare, or the welfare of others, or of the community.
“Mental illness", for purposes of involuntary commitment, means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory which grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, but does not include alcoholism.
“Secured residential care center for children and youth" has the meaning given in s. 938.02 (15g)
“Serious and persistent mental illness" means a mental illness that is severe in degree and persistent in duration, that causes a substantially diminished level of functioning in the primary aspects of daily living and an inability to cope with the ordinary demands of life, that may lead to an inability to maintain stable adjustment and independent functioning without long-term treatment and support, and that may be of lifelong duration. “Serious and persistent mental illness" includes schizophrenia as well as a wide spectrum of psychotic and other severely disabling psychiatric diagnostic categories, but does not include degenerative brain disorder or a primary diagnosis of a developmental disability or of alcohol or drug dependence.
“State treatment facility" means any of the institutions operated by the department for the purpose of providing diagnosis, care or treatment for mental or emotional disturbance, developmental disability, alcoholism or drug dependency and includes but is not limited to mental health institutes.
“Transfer" means the movement of a patient or resident between approved treatment facilities or to or from an approved treatment facility and the community.
“Treatment" means those psychological, educational, social, chemical, medical or somatic techniques designed to bring about rehabilitation of a mentally ill, alcoholic, drug dependent or developmentally disabled person.
“Treatment director" means the person who has primary responsibility for the treatment provided by a treatment facility. The term includes the medical director of a facility.
“Treatment facility" means any publicly or privately operated facility or unit thereof providing treatment of alcoholic, drug dependent, mentally ill or developmentally disabled persons, including but not limited to inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, community support programs and rehabilitation programs.
See s. 46.011
for definitions applicable to chs. 46
Alzheimer's disease is one type of a degenerative brain disorder. Chapter 51 includes the definition of degenerative brain disorder only to specifically exclude it from the chapter's authority, whereas the ch. 55 definition is used to include it in the scope of authority granted under ch. 55. Rehabilitation is a necessary element of treatment under ch. 51. Because there are no techniques that can be employed to bring about rehabilitation from Alzheimer's disease, an individual with the disease cannot be rehabilitated. Accordingly, an Alzheimer's patient is not a proper subject for ch. 51 treatment. Fond du Lac County v. Helen E. F. 2011 WI App 72
, 333 Wis. 2d 740
, 798 N.W.2d 707
. Affirmed. 2012 WI 50
, 340 Wis. 2d 500
, 814 N.W.2d 179
“Rehabilitation,” as used in sub. (17), addresses the control of symptoms. It comprises treatment going beyond custodial care to affect the disease and symptoms. But rehabilitation is not synonymous with cure. A symptom is an expression of the disorder at work within the patient. Rehabilitation refers to improving the patient's condition through ameliorating endogenous factors such as symptoms and behaviors. If a treatment controls symptoms to such a degree that withdrawing it would subject the patient to a more restrictive treatment alternative, then the treatment controls enough symptoms to establish the patient has rehabilitative potential. Waukesha County v. J.W.J. 2017 WI 57
, 375 Wis. 2d 542
, 895 N.W.2d 783
Council on mental health. 51.02(1)
The council on mental health shall have the following duties:
Advise the department, the legislature and the governor on the use of state and federal resources and on the provision and administration of programs for persons who are mentally ill or who have other mental health problems, for groups who are not adequately served by the mental health system, for the prevention of mental health problems and for other mental health related purposes.
Provide recommendations to the department on the expenditure of federal funds received under the community mental health block grant under 42 USC 300x
and participate in the development of and monitor and evaluate the implementation of, the community mental health block grant plan.
Review all departmental plans for services affecting persons with mental illness and monitor the implementation of the plans.
Serve as an advocate for persons with mental illness.
Consult with the department in the development of a model community mental health plan under s. 51.42 (7) (a) 9.
, and review and advise the department on community mental health plans submitted by counties under s. 51.42 (3) (ar) 5.
Promote the development and administration of a delivery system for community mental health services that is sensitive to the needs of consumers of the services.
Review and comment on the human services and community programs board member training curriculum developed by the department under s. 51.42 (7) (a) 3m.
The secretary shall submit all departmental plans affecting persons with mental illness to the council for its review. The council shall provide its recommendations to the secretary within such time as the secretary may require.
Office of children's mental health. 51.025(1)
The office of children's mental health shall study and recommend ways, and coordinate initiatives, to improve the integration across state agencies of mental health services provided to children and monitor the performance of programs that provide those services.
By January 1, 2015, and by January 1 of each year thereafter, the office of children's mental health shall submit a report to the joint committee on finance and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3)
that includes all of the following:
A summary of the activities of that office in the previous year, including actions the office has taken to improve the coordination of mental health services provided to children by state agencies.
A summary of data collected by that office that relate to the outcomes of children who receive mental health services provided by state agencies.
A discussion of areas in which the state's delivery of mental health services for children could be improved.
History: 2013 a. 20
Department; powers and duties. 51.03(1g)(a)
“Early intervention" means action to hinder or alter a person's mental disorder or abuse of alcohol or other drugs in order to reduce the duration of early symptoms or to reduce the duration or severity of mental illness or alcohol or other drug abuse that may result.
“Individualized service planning" means a process under which a person with mental illness or who abuses alcohol or other drugs and, if a child, his or her family, receives information, education and skills to enable the person to participate mutually and creatively with his or her mental health or alcohol or other drug abuse service provider in identifying his or her personal goals and developing his or her assessment, crisis protocol, treatment and treatment plan. “Individualized service planning" is tailored to the person and is based on his or her strengths, abilities and needs.
“Prevention" means action to reduce the instance, delay the onset or lessen the severity of mental disorder, before the disorders may progress to mental illness, by reducing risk factors for, enhancing protections against and promptly treating early warning signs of mental disorder.
“Recovery" means the process of a person's growth and improvement, despite a history of mental illness or alcohol or other drug abuse, in attitudes, feelings, values, goals, skills and behavior and is measured by a decrease in dysfunctional symptoms and an increase in maintaining the person's highest level of health, wellness, stability, self-determination and self-sufficiency.
“Stigma" means disqualification from social acceptance, derogation, marginalization and ostracism encountered by persons with mental illness or persons who abuse alcohol or other drugs as the result of societal negative attitudes, feelings, perceptions, representations and acts of discrimination.
The department through its authorized agents may visit or investigate any treatment facility to which persons are admitted or committed under this chapter.
No later than 14 days after the date of a death reported under s. 51.64 (2) (a)
, the department shall investigate the death.
Beginning on September 1, 1996, the department shall collect and analyze information in this state on each of the following:
The number of, cost of and paying sources for days of inpatient mental health treatment that result from the commitments initiated under subd. 1.
or ordered under subd. 2.