Mental Health Law

If you or a loved one is in crisis, the Michigan Mental Health Code is available to secure necessary mental health care and to protect a patient’s rights. Both doctors and lawyers carefully review each patient’s situation to ensure that they are getting help if they truly need it.

Any interested person can file a petition for involuntary mental health treatment. A judge might also order police to look for and find a patient in crisis so that they can be taken to the hospital. At the hospital, community mental health workers will screen the patient and, if necessary, psychiatrists will assess if he or she is a risk to self or others. If two psychiatrists agree that the patient is in experiencing a mental health crisis, they will certify this to a court, and admit the patient to the hospital.

The mental health process moves quickly. Within 72 hours, the patient will meet with a lawyer and their care team. There is an absolute right to a hearing, and the person asking for the care must prove that the patient is unable to care for themselves and in need of mental health treatment. A patient is also free to waive the hearing temporarily and agree to accept care for a specified period of time. During that time period, they can decide to demand a hearing, and once again the other side will have to establish that continued mental health treatment is necessary.

Mental health issues have been stigmatized for far too long. There is nothing wrong with accepting help, and you may be surprised to see how many of your loved ones are anxious to give you a hand. We have compassionate lawyers who will assist you and your family with dignity and respect. Our goal is to see a patient healthy, happy, and back at home.