Mental Commitments (Care and Treatment)

How can I observe and/or participate in involuntary commitment court proceedings?

All court hearings for involuntary commitments are closed to the public. The only individuals who are allowed by law to appear and participate in these hearings are DA’s Office representatives, the patient, the patient’s attorney, the judge, court staff, law enforcement, physicians, and qualified mental health professionals.  If one of these parties needs your participation, they will contact you and let you know. If you would like to observe one of these hearings, you will need the express permission of the patient.

What do I do if my family member or friend is experiencing a mental health crisis?

If the individual is attempting or at imminent risk of self-harm or a danger to others or property, call your local law enforcement agency/911, and request a Crisis Intervention Team.  Any law enforcement officer who has a reasonable belief formed upon investigation that an individual is a mentally ill person, and because of such is likely to cause harm to self or others if allowed to remain at liberty, may take the person into custody without a warrant.

Can I provide supplemental information for the mental health screen, and how will I know whether the evaluation results in the initiation of an involuntary commitment proceeding?

Please provide your contact information to law enforcement and/or the hospital facility so that the JCMHC screener can contact you directly to inquire regarding the patient’s current and historical mental health symptoms, treatment, diagnosis, and other relevant information. This will be important if the patient’s mental state is such that they are not willing or able to participate in the screen. Let the screener know if there is a legal guardianship in place through the Courts. 

Can I have the District Attorney’s Office file a care and treatment petition on my behalf to have a family member committed for mental illness?

No, this is not an option in Johnson County at this time. Please attempt to have your family member assessed by a physician or qualified mental health professional at an emergency room. If there is critical event, call your local law enforcement agency/911 and request a Crisis Intervention Team or call the JCMHC crisis line for additional information: 913-268-0156.