Mental Health Evaluations and Treatment
Processes and Procedures for Assisting Mentally Ill Persons Into Treatment
The attorneys at Alford & Burkhart have cumulatively appeared in over one-hundred “involuntary treatment” cases involving mentally ill persons.
Family members attempting to help an adult mentally ill parent, son, daughter, brother or sister receive treatment often find themselves in a difficult position, feeling like their “hands are tied” and without the resources or the ability to help their loved-one get mental health treatment.
In appropriate cases, the laws of Georgia allow people to seek a court-ordered evaluation and court-ordered mental health treatment of others. Any person may file with the court a petition executed under oath alleging that a person within the county is a mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment. The petition must be accompanied by the certificate of a physician or psychologist stating that he has examined the patient within the preceding five days and has found that the patient may be a mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment and that a full evaluation of the patient is necessary.
Our attorneys provide clients with the legal advice and guidance to properly file these involuntary evaluation/treatment petitions to put people in the best position to help their loved-ones.
Persons who are the subject of involuntary evaluation or treatment proceedings have certain rights in connection with the legal procedures and with the treatment itself. These rights are specified by statute. Georgia law contains due process protections in involuntary treatment proceedings. Although attorneys are often appointed by courts to represent allegedly mentally ill persons, persons who are the subject of involuntary evaluation or treatment proceedings have the right to hire their own private attorneys.