Office of Crisis Services and Sucide Prevention
TDMHSAS Mandatory Pre-Screening Agent Program
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Mandatory Prescreening Agents are required to take the MPA Refresher Course every two years.
What is a Mandatory Pre-Screening Agent?
A Mandatory Pre-screening Agent (MPA) is a qualified mental health professional designated by the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to determine the need and issue a certificate of need (CON) for emergency involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.
Why is this process important?
Mandatory Pre-screening Agents (MPA) ensure that individuals in a behavioral health crisis have access to a mental health professional who is familiar with available community resources and appropriate treatment interventions. MPA’s should have experience assessing and managing a behavioral health crisis and consider all less drastic alternatives to emergency involuntary hospitalization when screening an individual with behavioral health needs.
Who is eligible to become designated?
To be considered for eligibility for designation as a MPA you must be licensed to practice in Tennessee and be a qualified mental health professional.
Qualified mental health professionals:
How do I become designated?
To become designated as an MPA, you must be a qualified mental health professional, satisfactorily complete an initial training session and be designated by the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
When are the initial training sessions?
All initial training sessions will be located in room 109A at the Mental Health Cooperative in Nashville, TN from 10am to 2pm (CST). There is no charge for this training session.
To register for the training you must complete the required registration form and submit it to MPA.Info@tn.gov no later than 7 days prior to the scheduled training date. Space for the initial training session is limited and priority will be given to professionals who are employed to serve as a crisis responder.
Mental Health Cooperative
275 Cumberland Bend Drive
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone (615) 726-3340
December 12, 2012
March 13, 2013
June 19, 2013 (please note: this is a training date change)
September 18, 2013
December 18, 2013
March 19, 2014
June 18, 2014
Please note: No CEU's are afforded for the MPA Training Class, however, the training will provide 4 contact hours.
For additional information you may contact us at mailto:MPA.Info@tn.gov .
What are the recent changes to MPA authority?
Effective January 1, 2012, MPAs are required to complete a refresher course to ensure designated professionals stay up to date on Tennessee law, responsibility requirements and resource availability. Refresher courses are to be completed within 30 days of the expiration date of your professional license. The refresher course can be taken online at MPA refresher course. If a MPA prefers to attend initial training, this can be substituted for the online refresher course.
How do I re-apply for MPA designation when my license expires?
The MPA refresher course will be available online no later than January 1, 2012.
Instructions for taking the on-line MPA Refresher Course:
1. Click here: MPA refresher course.
A slide presentation / refresher course will appear (you may review at your own pace by clicking the forward or back buttons).
2. At the end of the slide presentation a pop-up button will read: “Click Here to Begin the Exam and Final Application Process”. Click on the button.
3. The “MPA Refresher Course- Post Test” will appear. Complete the test.
4. After you complete the test, click on the “Score My Exam” button located at the lower left hand corner of the test.
5. A pop-up window with your test score and a “pass” or “fail” will appear. If you failed the test a link will be provided that reads, “click here to retake exam”
6. If you pass the test, a “Certificate of Completion” will appear. Please print a copy for your records.
7. After you print your certificate, click on the “Application For MPA Re-designation” button and complete the “Request to Renew Mandatory Pre-Screening Agent Designation” application
8. After completing the application, click on the “submit your application” button
After all the above steps are completed, your test scores and application will be automatically sent to MPA.Info@TN.gov letting TDMHSAS know if you have successfully completed the MPA Refresher Course. No further action is needed from you at this time. We will then verify that your professional license has been renewed and send you a final confirmation regarding the continuation, limitation or termination of your MPA status within 30-60 days.
You may continue your duties as a MPA uninterrupted until such time that e-mail confirmation is received. It is your responsibility to ensure that TDMHSAS maintains current contact information. Failure to complete the required refresher course, submit a status update and/or apply for re-designation will result in removal of your designation.
If designation is removed for any reason, you may re-apply for designation after completing the required refresher course. The Commissioner has the authority to remove or alter designation with or without cause at any time.
Please note: You may substitute the initial training course for the online training on any of the dates listed above if preferred. If you choose to be recertified by attending one of our initial training courses, please complete the “Initial Training Registration Form” and send to us via the instructions on the form.
What are the responsibilities of a Mandatory Pre-Screening Agent?
How to submit status changes or updates:
MPAs must immediately notify the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services by submitting a MPA Status Update form if:
1. no longer meets the requirements for Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP)
2. requires or make changes in service area location(s)
3. no longer functions as a Mandatory Pre-Screening Agent and/or
4. changes name, address or contact information
(note: form is located under “forms” on this webpage. This form can be emailed to mailto:MPA.Info@tn.gov or faxed to: 615-253-6822
What types of community resources are available as less drastic alternatives to hospitalization?
List of Hospitals that accept CONs - Pending
Community Based Pre-screening Rule
Crisis Services Training Manual
Regional Mental Health Institutes (RMHIs)