When to Seek a Mental Health Intervention
It can be heartbreaking to watch a loved one struggle with mental illness, even more so when the loved one refuses to seek help on their own. In some extreme cases, a mental health intervention is needed to protect not only the person with the mental illness but others around them. If you are concerned that someone in your family is in danger of hurting themselves or others, or is at risk of self neglect due to mental illness, knowing when to seek a mental health intervention can be critical to preventing escalation of the problem.
Signs of Severe Mental Illness
In the U.S., mental illness is not only common, it likely impacts several people you know. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one-in-five American adults suffers from some level of mental illness. While it is widespread, many people seek help for their illness on their own. However, there are those that go untreated and need the help of their loved ones to spot the signs and seek a mental health intervention. Some signs of severe mental illness include:
- Extreme changes in behavior
- Unexplained violence toward themselves or others
- No longer able to care for themselves, go to work or meet everyday living demands
- Extreme swings in mood or emotional state
- Problems coping or understanding reality
- Threatening self-harm or harm to others due to mental health issues
Mental illness can manifest over time or suddenly with no noticeable symptoms. Showing concern and discussing seeking treatment should be the first steps in trying to help your loved one get the help they need. However, this is not always effective, and in some cases, mental health intervention is required.
Mental Health Intervention and the Baker Act
The Florida Mental Health Act, also referred to as the Baker Act, offers mental health intervention options for those with mental illness and their families. This law is designed to give those with serious mental health illnesses the help they need in crisis. If an individual poses it can ensure placement, either voluntarily or involuntarily, for those needing evaluation and possibly treatment. If a mental health intervention is needed for a loved one, you may need legal help to ensure they get the treatment they need through a court order.
There are also times where this law will be misused as an attack on another person. We realize this as well and the collateral consequences of court ordered treatment such as loss of liberty, right to knowingly refuse medical treatment, or the infringement of the individual’s otherwise lawful right to bear arms.
Baker Act Mental Health Intervention Lawyers
If you are concerned a loved one will harm them self, another, or if they may suffer self-neglect, but refuses to get the help they need, or if this statute has been unjustly used against you or a loved one contact our firm at Tison Law Group. Our legal team can discuss legal impact of the Baker Act to ensure your loved one gets the evaluation and care they need.