In this article, we explain treament plans for involuntary commitment for mental illness. We answer questions such as, “what is a treatment plan?”, “why is a treatment plan important?”, “what should be included in a treatment plan?”, “what if you disagree with the treatment plan?”, and “what if you want to change your treatment plan?”
A treatment plan is a detailed document that the facility must create within the first three days upon admittance of a patient that has been involuntarily committed. Treatment plans are shaped to each patient’s needs, therefore they vary from person to person. Once the treatment plan is complete (which should be in the first three days), the facility is obligated to give you a copy of the entire plan. A family member or guardian should also receive a copy of the treatment plan, with permission from the patient.
The goal of the treatment plan is to ensure the patient, staff, and any family members or guardians that will assist the patient once he or she is discharged, are all on the same page in terms of care and what is best for the patient. A treatment plan is crucial in mapping out goals for the patient’s care, which helps to identify and encourage progress; especially for the patient. No one should be hospitalized against his or her will any longer than absolutely necessary. Individual treatment plans must be frequently reevaluated, making it less likely to be unnecessarily hospitalized.
A treatment plan, also known as an individual services plan, must contain all of the following information:
If the facility director cannot provide you with any of the information listed above, the facility must give you a written explanation including; why they cannot provide the information at that time, what steps the facility is taking to retrieve the information, and when it is expected to be available.
If you disagree with any part of the treatment plan, or believe critical information is missing from the plan, you can request to have a judge review the treatment plan in a hearing. The facility director must submit a copy of your treatment plan with the court within 30 days of your involuntary admission, and the patient or guardian must also wait 30 days before a petition to review the treatment plan can be filed. The request for review can only happen at specific times, and they are as follows:
If the judge discovers that the treatment plan is missing critical information, the judge will rule for the facility to make the necessary changes.
Reviewing the plan and altering the plan are slightly different. Within the first 30 days upon admission, there isn’t enough data about the patient or the treatment to make an educated decision about the effectiveness of the treatment plan. You can request a hearing at any time, and below is a list of things that are within your rights to accomplish at your hearing: