Community Behavioral Health

Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP)

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South Dakota state law requires Qualified Mental Health Professionals (QMHP) to be “endorsed by the South Dakota Department of Human Services" (SDCL 27A-1-7).

Only a QMHP may do the examination required as part of an involuntary mental illness commitment process (SDCL 27A-10-6). Physicians licensed pursuant to SDCL 36-4 are considered Qualified Mental Health Professionals and are not required to receive the endorsement.

  • Individuals eligible for endorsement are those listed in SDCL 27A-1-3.

Except as provided in SDCL 36-4-20, each qualified mental health professional shall meet all licensing and certification requirements promulgated by the State of South Dakota for persons engaged in private practice of the same profession in South Dakota. However, the private practice licensure requirement for persons referred to in subdivision (3) (effective July 1, 2003), and subdivision (4) does not apply to those employed by the State of South Dakota or mental health centers.

The training program is held approximately every six months, generally in June and December with the focus being on the legal criteria related to involuntary commitment in South Dakota. At the end of the training program, the examination is held. Advance notice of the training/examination schedule is provided to interested professional groups and licensure bodies. The administrative rules related to the process are found in ARSD 46:20:33. Candidates for endorsement will be notified by mail of the outcome of their examination. Endorsement will be valid for four years. Candidates may participate in the QMHP training endorsement if they do not meet the above criteria as long as they will meet the criteria in 6 months or less. Individuals who do not meet the criteria may sit for the training; however, they will not be granted QMHP endorsement until the Division of Mental Health has received documentation that individuals meet the above criteria to be endorsed as a QMHP.

The endorsement is not required to provide services which are within the scope of a particular licensed discipline. However, endorsement is required to conduct the examination specified in SDCL 27A-10-6.

Individuals requesting QMHP endorsement should submit the following information to:

  • South Dakota Department of Social Services
    Division of Behavioral Health
    700 Governors Drive
    Pierre SD, 57501
    Attn: QMHP Endorsement
  • Individuals requesting to take the endorsement examination should submit a letter with the following:
    • Full name,
    • Home address,
    • Name and address of employment,
    • Telephone number,
    • Photocopy of South Dakota professional license,
    • Receipt of your letter with above information and material will suffice as registration for this training/examination session.
  • In your letter of application, please indicate under which category you qualify for endorsement as a QMHP.
  • It is the responsibility of each individual endorsed as a Qualified Mental Health Professional to notify the Division of Behavioral Health with any employment changes, name changes, or address changes.
  • The Division of Behavioral Health is not responsible for lost/not received correspondence due to the above changes.

Mental Health Commitment Roadmap