mental health law

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FULTON -  A new law limits the number of hours a mental health employee can work. The change would forbid mental health employees from working more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period; unless the Department of Mental Health announces an emergency workforce shortage.

The legislation would apply to Fulton State Hospital and the Missouri Department of Corrections' Sexual Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Program in Farmington.

Jeanie Riddle - Republican, of Callaway County, sponsored the bill. Riddle said in a press release the legislation is "one of the first steps in improving safety conditions for employees at Fulton State Hospital." That release said staff requirements at the hospital "frequently" lead to employees working back to back 8-hour shifts.

The new law will take effect in July 2013.