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You may be admitted to a mental health facility either voluntarily or involuntarily

Criteria for a person to be taken to a recieving facility for involuntary examination are:

#1 There is reason to believe that a person is mentally ill and because of the mental illness:
a) Has refused voluntary examination after someone has explained it's purpose,
b)Cannot determine by him/herself whether an examination is necessary
#2 In addition to "a" or "b" above, one of the following conditions must also be present:
a) That without care and treatment, the person is likely to suffer from real and immediate substantial harm either from neglect or refusal to take care of him/herself, inspite of the efforts of family, friends or other services being provided,
b)Recent behavior shows that there is substantial likelihood that without care and treatment, the individual may do serious harm to him/herself or others

A person undergoing involuntary examination may not be detained longer than 72 hours unless the facility administrator executes a petition with the circuit court requesting the person's commitment for involuntary treatment. This petition shall be filed in the appropriate court on the first court working day thereafter. The court shall hold the hearing within (5) days unless a continuance is granted.

All patients have the right to file a petition (Writ of Habeas Corpus) which challenges the legality of your detention and requests your release. The court has the option to hold a new hearing or not consider the petition.

If you are involuntarily commited to a treatment facility, you may request your discharge by notifying staff of your decision in writing. If you approach staff verbally staff must assist you in making the written request. The staff must then forward your request to the facility administrator, and within 24 hours you must either be released or or the administrator must execute a petition for your continued commitment to the court. If a hearing before the judge is required, you will be appointed a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney. Through your attorney, you may request an independant evaluation by a qualified mental health professional that is appointed by the court.

If you are involuntarily comitted, you cannot be held longer than (6) months without a hearing before a "hearing examiner" to determine your need for further commitment. You have the right to be represented by an attorney and the right to be released if it is shown that you no longer meet the criteria for involuntary commitment.

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