Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Is the law really dangerous?

Mental health professionals and others frequently say that, “by law, you have to be a danger to self or others” in order to get court-ordered treatment for severe mental illness. But, is that actually TRUE?

No. In most states, an individual with severe mental illness may qualify for court-ordered inpatient or outpatient treatment before deteriorating to a point of “dangerousness.” Many states have provisions for treating who are “gravely disabled” and some permit treating people based on their “need for treatment.”

Don’t just accept the word of your local officials – read the law for yourself and be accurately informed! TAC has online resources to help: a compilation of TEXT excerpts from the actual state commitment codes and a CHART summarizing the required criteria for treatment in each state.

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