Civil commitment

Family members or hospital staff may initiate a civil commitment hearing in the court system if an individual refuses treatment and remains severely ill. Commitment means the individual with mental illness is mandated to comply with treatment because they are a danger to themselves or others. People who are committed may be discharged from the hospital as long as they agree to comply with treatment, but if they do not, they may be sent back to their inpatient treatment setting. Civil commitment time periods generally range from six months to a year and may be extended, depending on the individual’s progress. Civil commitment rules vary across states. A stay of commitment happens when a commitment order for treatment is not executed as long as the individual in the commitment hearing meets the conditions stated in the commitment order.

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