If your loved one has a severe mental illness, you can get them involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility. This is called an Order for Involuntary Admission. You can do this when:
- The person has a serious mental illness;
- Because of the mental illness, the person shows either: (a) a decrease in their ability to function; (b) suffering; or (c) threatening behavior;
- The benefits of the treatment outweigh the harm;
- The patient lacks the capacity to make a reasoned decision about the treatment; and
- Other less-restrictive services have been explored and found inappropriate.
You will need to file a petition in court. Learn more about Starting a case to get an Order for Involuntary Admission.
Where can I get help?
In Cook County, the State’s Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecutions Bureau, Seniors & Persons with Disabilities Unit, may be able to help you. Their phone number is 312-603-8600. They may be able help you decide if a petition is appropriate and help you complete the necessary court paperwork. There is no charge for this service.
What is a custodian?
The judge can place the respondent in the care of a person who will help the respondent attend all of the appointments and/or therapy sessions. This is called a custodian. The proposed custodian must appear at the court hearing and testify that he or she is willing to take on this role.
The judge will decide if the custodian understands and agrees to the terms of the order and is willing and able to properly care for the respondent. The order may grant the custodian the authority to admit the respondent to the hospital if the respondent fails to comply with the conditions of the order.
Updated: February 2018