Frequently Asked Questions
Emergency Services (4)
You should talk with the individual and recommend they seek help. If the individual has a mental health provider, encourage your friend or family member to contact their therapist, psychiatrist, or case manager for assistance. If the individual does not have a mental health care provider, help them find one and offer to set up an appointment.
If the individual needs immediate attention, urge them to call our Emergency Services. Or offer to call Emergency Services for them.
However, sometimes, individuals won’t agree to professional mental health treatment. In this case, you should contact our emergency services department. In the midst of a crisis, it can be hard to know what constitutes an emergency. Call emergency services if you’re unsure. Always call if an individual indicates risk of suicide or homicide, experiences a sudden change in mental status, or stops taking care of basic needs such as sleep, hygiene, or eating.
The best-case scenario is that an individual will agree to seek help on their own. However, there are times when involuntary commitment is needed for the safety of the individual and others. Call Emergency Services to help you through this process. If the individual presents an immediate danger, call 911 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team-trained officer.
An ECO allows police to take an individual into custody and transport them to be evaluated by a qualified mental health provider. An Emergency Services therapist will request an ECO if an individual is at risk of harm but refuses to seek help voluntarily. The ECO could last for up to 8 hours while a qualified mental health professional will evaluate the individual and determine if hospitalization is necessary. If hospitalization is necessary, the ECO also allows therapists time to find an available bed.
A TDO is a legal document requiring an individual to receive immediate hospitalization for further evaluation and stabilization, on an involuntary basis, until a commitment hearing can be arranged to determine their future treatment needs. A magistrate could issue a TDO if an individual will not voluntarily seek treatment but seems to require immediate help. The individual will then remain hospitalized until a commitment hearing occurs. In most cases, that hearing must take place within 72 hours.
Family or friends should be aware, that for safety reasons and according to their policy, law enforcement personnel will handcuff the individual during transport or at any point during the ECO or TDO process where this is necessary.