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What Is an Involuntary Mental Health Commitment?

Involuntary Mental Health Commitments

An involuntary mental health commitment is the way that a Probate Court Judge can order you to have mental health treatment, even if you do not want
treatment. Although most adults have a right to refuse medical treatment, the commitment process creates an exception. The Probate Court may order
treatment if you have a mental illness, you need treatment, and you meet the legal commitment standards.

There are two processes for adult mental health commitment: (1) emergency and (2) judicial. The emergency process is used when you are an immediate harm to yourself or to others. In an emergency, you may be taken into custody immediately and admitted for treatment against your will.
The judicial process is used when there is not an emergency, but someone (usually a family member) believes you need mental health treatment even if you
do not want treatment. You do not have to be detained while you wait on the Court to decide in a non-emergency situation.
In both emergency and non-emergency situations, the Court must hold a hearing before finding that you continue to need mental health treatment.

P&A FACT SHEET
The Protection and Advocacy System for South Carolina
3710 LANDMARK DRIVE, SUITE 208, COLUMBIA, SC 29204
(803) 782–0639; FAX (803) 790-1946
TOLL FREE IN SC: 1-866-275-7273 (VOICE) AND 1-866-232-4525 (TTY)
E-mail: info@pandasc.org
Website: www.pandasc.org

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