Can I Involuntarily Place My Loved One Into A Mental Health Facility?


African american mother and daughter in hospital looking at each other

Millions of people are living with various types of mental health issues. Many of them may not be aware of the existence or severity of these mental health issues. Unfortunately, those in need are apprehensive about seeking treatment because they don’t think that they need treatment or they are afraid of the stigmas associated with those suffering from mental health issues.

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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness only 25% of African-Americans seek treatment for mental health issues compared to 40% of whites. African-American women residing in urban neighborhoods categorically suffer from severe depression more than any other gender and racial group, due to socio-economic problems and other factors.

There are over 200 classifications of mental illness that a loved one or you may be afflicted with. “Mental illness” means an impairment of the mental or emotional processes that exercise conscious control of one’s actions or of the ability to perceive or understand reality, which impairment substantially interferes with the person’s ability to meet the ordinary demands of living. The most common types of mental illnesses include dementia, clinical depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, suicide, and anxiety disorders. It’s difficult to determine whether you suffer from any of these illnesses without seeking the appropriate help from someone who can properly diagnose you.

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Several laws have been enacted to protect those suffering from mental health issues. Many people ask “What legal action can I take if my loved one does not want to seek the treatment that they need?” There are several options available depending on the laws in your state, including, but not limited to, involuntary placement. Most states have adopted variations of the Mental Health Act, which created guidelines and procedures involuntary placement.