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Summary of Laws Related to Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Network for Public Health Law
August 19, 2020
Planning and development

The interaction of national and state laws can affect how public health interventions intended to benefit children are permitted to operate, especially in the domain of collecting, using and sharing personal health information. Child and adolescent mental health information is particularly sensitive and subject to complex interactions of national and state legal requirements and constraints.

CDC/NCBDDD and PHII, working with the Network for Public Health Law, developed this summary of laws relevant to child and adolescent mental health, focusing on six key federal laws. The summary provides information about the intent of these laws, as well as how they can be superseded by state laws that provide a higher level of privacy protection. It also includes references on how states allow minors to consent for treatment and data sharing.

PHII wishes to acknowledge Denise Chrysler, JD, of the Network for Public Health Law, for all her contributions to also contributed to the creation of this report.

This summary report was supported by Cooperative Agreement number 6- NU38OT000316, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Citation Information: 
The Public Health Informatics Institute. "Summary of Laws Related to Child and Adolescent Mental Health." (accessed 11/16/2020).