A healthcare provider may apply the “three-month rule” regarding a patient’s well-being. In this instance, a patient can be forced to enter a psychiatric hospital. From here, hospital staff may try to keep the patient against their will for up to three months before they consider letting the patient leave.
At Simmrin Law Group, we can teach you about the three-month rule in mental health. If you need an attorney to help you with a hearing relating to a psychiatric hold, we can assist, too. At this point, we can answer all of your questions about the three-month rule in mental health and similar topics.
Can I Be Required to Go to a Psychiatric Hospital Against My Will?
In California, a law enforcement officer or healthcare professional can place you on a mental health hold that lasts up to 72 hours. The hold can be enacted for any of the following reasons:
- You are deemed a threat to yourself.
- You are considered a threat to others.
- It is determined you cannot provide yourself with sufficient food, clothing, and shelter.
A new mental health hold can be put into place once a current one ends. However, there is no guarantee that a mental health hold will last three months or longer. You can contest a mental health hold as part of a Certification Review hearing as well.
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Are There Different Types of Mental Health Holds?
There are several types of mental health holds, including:
- 5150: A person is involuntarily detained for up to 72 hours.
- 5250: A person is involuntarily detained for up to 14 days.
- 5270: A person is involuntarily detained for up to 30 days.
A Certification Review Hearing is used to determine if a person requires an additional mental health hold after their existing one lapses. If you are preparing for a Certification Review Hearing, you can hire an attorney. At this point, the attorney will make sure your legal rights are protected during your hearing.
What Is a Certification Review Hearing?
A Certification Review Hearing is held within four days of an individual being placed on a 5250 or 5270 hold. In the hearing, a treating facility is responsible for providing probable cause that indicates why a patient should remain at the facility. Meanwhile, a patient can be represented by a patients’ rights advocate or an attorney.
During a Certification Review Hearing, a Mental Health Hearing Referee hears from all parties involved. The referee determines if there is probable cause for the patient to stay at the treating facility. If so, the referee will notify the patient and explain what options are available.
There can be times when a referee decides there is no probable cause for the patient to stay at the treating facility. At these times, the patient is given the option to leave the psychiatric hospital. If the patient and hospital mutually agree to this individual’s decision to depart, the patient can leave under their own volition.
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What Does a Patients’ Rights Advocate Do?
A Patients’ Rights Advocate is a state employee that helps people receive mental health services. In a Certification Review Hearing, a Patients’ Right Advocate looks out for a patient’s best interests. The advocate also verifies that the patient is receiving appropriate treatment based on their mental health.
Expect a Patients’ Rights Advocate to present information during a Certification Review hearing. The advocate works with both the patient and the treating facility to ensure relevant information is shared with the mental health hearing referee. This helps the referee make an informed decision.
A patients’ right advocate does not have the same responsibilities as an attorney. If you are concerned your legal rights will not be represented properly in a Certification Review Hearing, connect with an attorney. Next, the attorney can answer any questions you have about Certification Review hearings and help you determine what to do from here.
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What Is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship can follow a mental health hold in California. If a person placed on a hold is dealing with a mental health disorder or gravely disabled, a treating facility may recommend a conservatorship. If the conservatorship request is approved, a patient loses their right to make decisions regarding their well-being.
It is illegal to unilaterally put a conservatorship into place for anyone. To get a conservatorship request approved, the Office of the Public Guardian must complete an investigation. If this office finds probable cause for a conservatorship, it can work toward putting one into place.
You may be forced to deal with a conservatorship following a mental health hold. A conservatorship can be enacted even if you are capable of caring for yourself and not a threat to yourself or others. If you need help contesting a conservatorship, a lawyer can help you do just that.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer if I Am Placed on a Mental Health Hold?
You are not legally required to employ a lawyer if you are placed on a mental health hold. Hiring a lawyer can be beneficial in this instance. If you have an attorney at your side, you can make sure your legal rights are protected while you receive any mental health services you need.
A lawyer allocates time, energy, and resources to learn about you and any legal challenges you are facing. As your attorney reviews your case, your lawyer helps you determine what needs to be done to make sure you get appropriate mental health services. At the same time, your lawyer offers tips and guidance to ensure you can avoid a conservatorship if it is not in your best interest to enact one.
In addition, your attorney is available to assist you in any way possible. You can share legal concerns and questions with your lawyer. Plus, your lawyer does everything in their power to make sure your legal rights are protected.
How Can I Get Started with an Attorney to Help Me with a Mental Health Hold?
Simmrin Law Group offers legal help to those dealing with a mental health hold. To learn more or request a free consultation, please contact us today.