Legal Issues in Crisis Services
Source: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
Resource Type: Documents and Publications
Topics: Criminal or Juvenile Justice System, Crisis Response System, Psychiatric or Mental Health Stabilization
In this paper, the authors describe key legal issues relevant to providers working in crisis settings as well as discuss implications for systems considering policies and practices related to crisis services. Although crisis services can start with a call or a text, this paper will describe legal and regulatory issues focused on crisis contacts that involve clinical assessments of individuals in crisis. Issues discussed in this paper include civil commitment treatment orders, the role of guardians, restraint and seclusion, confidentiality, the criminal justice system, EMTALA, red flag laws, risk management, and how these important topics relate specifically to crisis services. This paper will also discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential implications for legal issues related to crisis services.