This week's topic is voluntary and involuntary mental commitments. Voluntary mental commitments are done through mental health professionals or through facilities throughout the state. If someone does not already have a mental health professional they are currently seeing, that person should be able to find a mental health facility that can help them in their area. If the person does have a mental health professional, then the mental health professional will be able to provide information to the individual for care. Involuntary mental commitments are done differently than voluntary mental commitments. Involuntary mental commitment paperwork is filled out with the prosecutor's office. The packet for an involuntary mental commitment is nine pages long and has to be filled out completely, turned back into the prosecutor's office, approved, and then filed in Probate division of the court system. Once the paperwork is filed with the clerk, the matter is set for a hearing in front of a judge. The mental person is then appointed a public defender to speak with them and to represent them during the court hearing. The public defender speaks on the mental person's behalf to the judge about waiving a hearing or having a hearing on their mental capacity. During this process, New Haven conducts a mental evaluation to see what conditions they have, if any. After the hearing is completed, if the person is found to need help for their condition or issue, New Haven finds a facility that matches the individual's needs. The individual is transported to the facility and stays for five to seven days and then returns home with a diagnosis or medication prescription. Involuntary mental commitment is considered a short-term solution and will require continued care after the individual returns home.
If you or someone you know needs a voluntary mental commitment and would like to make an appointment to speak with a professional, New Haven Counseling and Health Services phone number is (870) 234-7500. They are located at 412 N. Vine Street in Magnolia.
The prosecutor's office phone number is (870) 234-4727 for involuntary mental commitments. They are located at 118 S. Calhoun in Magnolia.