Sometimes, an individual may be experiencing a psychiatric crisis and is unwilling to seek help for themselves. In some circumstances, such as when an individual is a danger to themselves or others, involuntary admission to a psychiatric facility can be employed.
There are two options for involuntary admission:
Call 911: If your situation requires immediate intervention, call 911. If you call 911, police officers will come and evaluate whether the person meets the emergency petition criteria. In making this determination, they will take into account all pertinent information, including what you tell them about the person and what they observe directly. If they decide that an evaluation is needed, they will take the person to the nearest emergency room.
File a petition for emergency evaluation: Any interested person (friend, relative, neighbor, or health professional) may file a petition for emergency evaluation review by a judge. When a petition for emergency evaluation is granted, the person to be evaluated is taken by a police officer or sheriff to an emergency room and is then evaluated for possible hospital admission.
To file a petition for emergency evaluation, go to the nearest district court during court hours and ask for the ‘petition for emergency evaluation’ form. Click here to download the form.
For a complete description of the law governing involuntary commitment in Maryland, please see the Maryland Statute.