According to Mental Health America, over half of the adults in America with mental illness don’t receive treatment. Going to a mental health facility for therapy and other treatments may seem complex, but professionals are ready to help you live a healthy and happy life. Most mental hospitals require a referral from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker, for a person to be admitted. A detailed assessment of the person’s mental health is necessary. Furthermore, a mental health facility may want you to provide a recommendation for admission to the hospital before admittance. Keep reading to learn about the criteria for admission, what to expect, and what to do if a loved one refuses to go.
The Criteria for Admission to a Mental Hospital
The criteria for admission to a mental hospital vary depending on the facility. Typically, the standards include the following:
- A history of self-harm or violence
- A diagnosis of a serious mental illness
- A lack of other treatment options
The length of stay for each patient in the hospital can vary depending on the individual’s needs, but the visit is typically anywhere from several weeks to several months.
The admittance process allows you to ask the trained medical staff questions to learn more about your stay and treatment programs. Mental treatment facilities accept various insurance to help curb any costs, and Verifying insurance means you can see what benefits you will receive. Next, schedule and complete an assessment to learn more about your personalized inpatient treatment plan.
Can You Admit a Loved One to a Mental Health Facility?
It can be a helpless experience to watch a family member, friend, colleague, or even acquaintance go through a mental health crisis. Instead of witnessing a severe substance abuse struggle or mental breakdown, know that there is something that you can do to help. If you are worried about your loved one’s safety and health, you can recommend a short-term commitment if they are in danger of harming themselves or others. Besides family members and friends, police and emergency responders can also make these recommendations to a mental health facility, especially if someone is suicidal.
If your loved one voluntarily goes to a mental health facility, you can plan and look at the treatment website to see what to bring and what to expect.
When a loved one is committed, describe the situation as clearly and as calmly as possible to the professional staff. Try to be an advocate for this person. If you know this person well, you might also be able to accompany them to the medical treatment facility and provide helpful information to the medical professionals.
Know When It’s Time to Have Someone Committed
There are, of course, things to watch out for to know when it’s time to get someone you know mental help. If you notice the following signs in a loved one, seek help immediately:
- Physical harm to themselves or someone else
- A pattern of violent behaviors and ideologies
- The inability to properly eat, clothe, or maintain a safe living situation (gravely disabled)
Involuntary Admission to a Mental Health Hospital
What is involuntary admission? That’s when a patient refuses to go to a psychiatric facility even though a mental health professional determines that their mental illness renders them vulnerable to harm. This admission is involuntary if someone else forces a patient to go to a mental health facility.
Things To Know About Involuntary Commitment
- If you think the individual needs help for their mental health and there are no other options, you can commit them involuntarily.
- You can call emergency services if you feel someone is in danger to themselves or others. You can file a petition in your state to start the involuntary commitment process if you have to.
- The involuntary commitment process involves three major steps: an emergency psychiatric evaluation of the individual, inpatient treatment, and assisted outpatient treatment for when they are discharged.
Know the Involuntary Commitment Laws
In the United States, there are three different progressive stages of involuntary treatment.
- Emergency Psychiatric Evaluation: This is when a person going through a mental health crisis is temporarily taken into emergency custody. Many states cap emergency custody at three days or 72 hours, but it really depends on each state’s laws. An emergency psychiatric evaluation typically results in inpatient treatment.
- Inpatient Commitment: This is when an individual stays at a mental treatment for a set amount of time for treatment and usually involves multiple steps, which might include an official hearing in court. Again, it depends on specific state laws and procedures.
- Assisted Outpatient Treatment: This mental health treatment has the patient commit to a community-based program. Of course, the laws and procedures for this type of treatment differ by every state. Nevertheless, it still requires supervision and immediate care, even if they are not in a facility.
What to Do If You’re Loved Ones Won’t Go to Treatment
- Calmly listen and validate their feelings and ask questions to understand their situation.
- If they didn’t ask for your help or advice, try to show support, resist the urge to give opinions, or try to fix everything.
- Explore options together so they don’t feel alone, which might start small with talking about the condition or treatment.
- Find support for yourself as you help a loved one seek help in a mental treatment facility. You can inquire about family therapy if it is available.
- If you don’t feel safe spending time alone or around others, committing yourself voluntarily to a hospital is always a good idea. This can also be helpful if you want time to prioritize your mental health. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health.
- Although involuntary commitment can be an effective solution for serious substance abuse or a mental health crisis, it shouldn’t be your first go-to option. Talk to your loved one about their mental state and see if they can commit themselves voluntarily.
We Are Here to Help
Remember, you should not take mental illness lightly. If you are struggling with mental health, reach out to someone you can trust and talk about what is happening. The facility staff at Eagleview Behavioral Health will listen to your concerns privately and respect your confidentiality. You can explain your story without judgment to experienced clinicians. We accept most health plans, so learn about patient financing today.
Help is available
Call us at 833-398-2453 for a free, confidential assessment.