Getting your loved one help in Texas: In a psychiatric emergency, the more you know about your state’s laws and treatment options, the better prepared you will be to respond in the most effective way possible. These resources will help:
- Essential information on who may initiate proceedings leading to mandatory treatment
- State standards for emergency hospitalization for a psychiatric evaluation
Estimated Prevalence of Severe Mental Illness in Texas (2015)
(SOURCE: NIMH and US BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, 2015)
Mandatory Treatment Laws in Texas
Like every state, Texas has civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when involuntary treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who cannot seek care voluntarily. Texas’s laws allow for the use of court-ordered treatment in the community, known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).
For “temporary” (90-day) inpatient commitment, a person must be mentally ill and EITHER:
- likely to cause serious harm to self or others; OR
- suffering ALL of the following:
- severe and abnormal mental, emotional, or physical distress;
- substantial deterioration of ability to function independently; AND
- (iii) inability to make rational and informed treatment decisions.
For “temporary” (90-day) outpatient commitment, a person must be ALL of the following:
- severely and persistently mentally ill;
- if untreated, destined to continue to suffer BOTH:
- severe and abnormal mental, emotional, or physical distress; AND
- deterioration of the ability to function independently, leading to an inability to live
- safely in community;
- unable to voluntarily and effectively participate in outpatient treatment.
|QUALITY OF TEXAS LAWS|
|Emergency Evaluation||D||Find relevant statute here|
|Outpatient Commitment||A||Find relevant statute here|
|Inpatient Commitment||C-||Find relevant statute here|
(SOURCE: MENTAL HEALTH COMMITMENT LAWS: A SURVEY OF THE STATES, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2014)
Public Psychiatric Beds in Texas
A minimum of 50 beds per 100,000 people is considered necessary to provide minimally adequate treatment for individuals with severe mental illness. Like every state, Texas fails to meet this minimum standard.
|Beds in 2010||Beds in 2005||Beds lost or gained||% of beds lost or gained||Beds per 100,000 people||% of target beds needed||State ranking in beds per capita|
(SOURCE: NO ROOM AT THE INN: TRENDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF CLOSING PUBLIC PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2012)
Criminalization of Mental Illness in Texas
Like every state in the nation, Texas incarcerates more individuals with severe mental illness than it hospitalizes.
|Total inmate population 2005||Estimated population of SMI inmates||Total psychiatric inpatient population 2004||Likelihood of incarceration vs. hospitalization|
|223,195||35,711||4,579||7.8 to 1|
(SOURCE: MORE MENTALLY ILL PERSONS ARE IN JAILS AND PRISONS THAN HOSPITALS: A Survey of the States, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2010)
Criminal Diversion in Texas
Criminal justice officials are responding to the criminalization of individuals with innovative programs designed to divert individuals with severe mental illness away from the criminal justice system. Two of the most promising programs are: mental health courts and crisis intervention training (CIT).
|Percentage of population served by a mental health court||Percentage of population served by CIT||Combined average||Grade|
(SOURCE: PREVALENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION PRACTICES: A SURVEY OF THE STATES, Treatment Advocacy Center, 2013)
- Stop eliminating public psychiatric beds
- Restore a sufficient number of beds to create access to inpatient care for qualifying individuals in crisis
- Make active use of the state’s civil commitment laws to provide more timely treatment to individuals in need of treatment for symptoms of psychiatric crisis and reduce the consequences of non-treatment on them, their families and their communities