Getting someone psychiatric help is an emotional and stomach turning thing to do but sometimes it is for their own good and it must be done. The procedure for getting some psychiatric help varies from state to state but in general an involuntary commitment is done by a doctor, therapist, and/or court. In many cases getting someone psychiatric help through an involuntary commitment is done after they have done something that makes them a danger to themselves or others. It is not easy but sometimes getting someone psychiatric help is absolutely necessary.
For psychiatric help that is involuntary
If you feel that a person is an immediate danger to themselves or to others then dial 991 and get emergency assistance. It’s better to be safe now than sorry later. Calling the police or emergency services on a loved one can be a very tough thing to do but it’s important to know that you are not doing it to hurt them. You have to emotionally detach yourself from the situation at hand and think of their safety and the safety of other people.
Someone who is in danger of seriously injuring themselves or another because they are not in a stable mindset is not their fault. They need someone to intervene and sometimes that person is going to have to be you. Although it may not sound ideal at the time having phoned for emergency help can you later on in court if and when you need to show proof as to why this person needs to be monitored and evaluated by a mental health professional.
What is the Florida Marchman Act?
A Marchman Act is a means of providing an individual in need of substance abuse services with emergency services and temporary detention for substance abuse evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or involuntary basis.
What is the Florida Baker Act?
The Florida Baker Act is actually the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971. The Florida Baker Act allows for involuntary examination or what some know it as, involuntary commitment. The Florida Baker Act can be initiated by judges, law enforcement, physicians or mental health professionals. In order for an individual to have the Florida Baker Act initiated on them there must be proof that the person has a mental illness or is a danger to themselves, a danger to others or is self-neglectful.
Other Options for Involuntary Psychiatric Care…
- Visit your city or county courthouse to get someone psychiatric help. This will need to be done in the district where the person you want to commit to psychiatric help, lives. Ask the clerk of court for the right papers and application papers. Fill those out.
- Attend the hearing. If there is not a reason for immediate involuntary commitment a hearing will because the judge will make the final decision based on the evidence. Once all the papers are filed you will have little say in what happens to the person you are trying to get psychiatric help for. You may be asked to testify in the hearing as well.
- Be prepared for problems. The person you are trying to get psychiatric help for may be very upset with being placed in a mental institution. If the person you are trying to get psychiatric help doesn’t immediately get into the mental institution and you feel like you are in danger then have a restraining order put in place. If they violate that you can then call the police and have the mental health professionals act enforced.
For voluntary psychiatric help
Psychiatric help can come in the form of inpatient treatment in a mental health facility, outpatient programs and/or groups with a therapist. The hardest parts about getting someone psychiatric help is convincing the person that they need help. Many times individuals do not feel that they need help, are aggressively against the idea or some are incapable of understanding what is going on.
Either way, if you are trying to get someone psychiatric help make sure that you:
- Tell them that you love them and support them.
- Educate yourself on their illness.
- Drive them to appointments.
- Find them psychiatric help.
- Make sure they have their medications.
- Make sure they are talking to their doctor and/or therapist.
- Make sure they are doing ok.
- Offer to help them where and when you can.
And last but not least if you are looking to get psychiatric help for someone else you must also get help for yourself. It’s hard to be there for a sick person and remain level headed. It can stress you out and be very hard on you – emotionally, physically, financially, socially, etc.
If your loved one is in need of alcohol or drug addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.