What is an Involuntary Commitment in Texas?

Involuntary commitment, also known as civil commitment or "white warrant", is a legal process through which a person is detained or hospitalized against their will for mental health treatment. The Texas Health and Safety Code allows for a person to be committed if

  • They have a mental illness
  • They are a danger to themselves or others
  • They are unable to care for themselves and meet their basic needs

The process for involuntary commitment in Texas typically involves the following steps:

Petition: The process is initiated by someone filing a petition with the court. This could be a family member, healthcare provider, or law enforcement officer.

Examination: The person who is the subject of the petition is examined by a mental health professional to determine whether they meet the criteria for involuntary commitment.

Hearing: A hearing is held in front of a judge to determine whether the person should be involuntarily committed. The person has the right to an attorney and can contest the petition.

Treatment: If the judge orders involuntary commitment, the person is typically hospitalized for a period of time for mental health treatment.

It's important to note that involuntary commitment is a serious step, and should only be considered when other options have been exhausted and the person is at risk of harm to themselves or others. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis in Texas, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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