Short-Term Emergency Commitment Laws

Under short-term emergency commitment, psychiatric facilities may accept patients for a predetermined amount of time without their consent if they are displaying dangerous symptoms of a mental illness. Generally, emergency commitment may be employed when someone is considered a danger to themselves or others while suffering from a mental illness, when they are gravely disabled or when they are unable to meet their basic needs. Every state has laws regulating short-term emergency commitment. These laws vary on how a person may be committed, the duration of the commitment, the rights that must be provided to a committed person, and whether the commitment will limit an individual’s right to possess a firearm under state gun laws. Read more.

John P. Petrila, JD, LLM and Jeffrey W. Swanson, PhD, MA contributed to this dataset as subject matter experts. 

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