Friday, June 05, 2020

Involuntary Care and Treatment Petitions

Each of us may know someone who has a substance abuse (drugs, alcohol) problem, or may be suffering from a mental illness. While it may be in the best interests of this individual to be committed for purposes of treatment, the State of Kansas has set forth a specific criteria which must be met before an individual can be committed involuntarily.

The criteria for an involuntary commitment is that the individual is declared to be "an endangerment to themselves or others." Only a health professional can make such a determination.

If you know of anyone who is suffering from substance abuse or mental illness and you believe that they are likely to cause harm to themselves, you, or others, please contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. In cases where the individual poses an immediate threat, law enforcement may take the individual into protective custody for purposes of obtaining a health evaluation. At that time, the health professional will make the appropriate determination.

Once an individual is deemed to be "a danger to themselves or others," all reports will be submitted to the County Attorney and a petition will be filed. At that point, it is the Judge's decision whether or not to commit the individual.