State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment

State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment

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When providing mental health services to the affected population, it is common to experience several guiding PMHNP. In particular, mental health laws play a critical role in mental health integration into primary health care, offering quality healthcare, and community integration of individuals with mental health issues. States, in the US have various laws that direct how citizens should address mental health emergencies upon occurrence.  State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment

My state of choice for this assignment is Texas. On the provision of mental health services, the legislative body of Texas enacted different directives for PMHNP. The laws help the PMHNP to evade legal issues. According To FindLaw (2021), in Texas, the guiding law for involuntary psychiatric holds for child and adult psychiatric emergencies is referred to as the Texas Health Safety Code – Health & Safety § 574.014. An adult can initiate involuntary psychiatric holds by employing evaluation, detention, and treatment of the person with the county courts.


An individual can be detained by a law enforcement officer, if they believe that particular person is a threat due to mental disorder or substance abuse. Then, should be transported to a mental health facility to undergo an evaluation from a proper admission based on their police power. Additionally, FindLaw (2021) asserts that a mental health facility is allowed to start a process of holding an individual if are known by the Department of Mental Health, and if they have confidence that the person has a critical mental health issue, and needs an emergency psychiatric treatment.

Further, FindLaw (2021) specifies that the mental health professionals allowed to initiate an involuntary psychiatric holding are; licensed physicians, psychiatric residents, a qualified addiction professional, licensed professional counselors, and PMHNP. It is indicated that an individual is to be held for 72 hours, with the exception of weekends and holidays. State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment

Differences Among Emergency Hospitalization

Emergency hospitalization involved in psychiatric evaluation or hold can be started by a police officer, an adult, or a health professional with the capacity to deal with mental health services. According to FindLaw (2021), this process does not consider a court order. Nevertheless, a court order is prioritized when the final decision has been made for an individual to be committed to getting mental health services.

Additionally, the applicant or guardian has to get a court order. Considerably, (Findlaw, 2021). The patient has to be given an opportunity to speak for themselves. Thus, the aspect of seeking a court order creates the distinction between emergency hospitalization for either a psychiatric hold or evaluation. State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment

Difference Between Capacity and Competency

In the context of mental health, capacity refers to a functional assessment and clinical determination of a certain decision, which can be arrived at by a health professional with familiarity with the case of the patient (Pearce et al., 2020).  However, competency refers to a global assessment and legal determination achieved by a judge in court. Thus, competency is significantly influenced by the decision of a judge.

HIPAA Privacy Rule

According to Feijt et al. (2020), the HIPAA privacy rule encourages healthcare professionals to take care of their patients’ information and secure it from unauthorized access. The healthcare providers are allowed to share this information with courts in order to enable the courts to decide if an individual should receive an involuntary psychiatric hold. Feijt et al. (2020) add that the health care providers can share this information with the family members in case the patient is impaired in making informed decisions, and is incapacitated.  State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment

Evidence-Based Suicide Risk Assessment

The suicide risk assessment tool that I could employ to diagnose the patient is referred to as the Columbia-suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) (Bjureberg et al., 2022). The tool is ideal for children, adolescents, and adults. Bjureberg et al. (2022) note that the tool examines passive and active suicidal plans, ideation, method, intent to act, and suicidal behavior.

Evidence-Based Violence Risk Assessment

Historical, Clinical, and Risk Management-20 (HCR-20) is the tool that I utilize for violence risk assessment. Turton et al. (2022) indicate that the tool is utilized to look into violence across the world by healthcare providers. The authors point out that the tool is reliable, valid, and accurate in identifying an individual with violent behaviors. State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment


Individuals, in Texas, in urgent need of mental healthcare emergencies can be held at a mental health facility for only 72 hours by an adult, police officer, or a healthcare professional. Capacity is determined by a healthcare provider, while competency is decided by a judge. At all costs, healthcare providers are responsible on both ethical and legal grounds to maintain patient autonomy. State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment




Bjureberg, J., Dahlin, M., Carlborg, A., Edberg, H., Haglund, A., & Runeson, B. (2022). Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale Screen Version: initial screening for suicide risk in a psychiatric emergency department. Psychological medicine52(16), 3904-3912.

Feijt, M., De Kort, Y., Bongers, I., Bierbooms, J., Westerink, J., & IJsselsteijn, W. (2020). Mental health care goes online: Practitioners’ experiences of providing mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking23(12), 860-864.

FindLaw. (2021).  Texas Health and Safety Code – HEALTH & SAFETY § 574.014. Compilation of Mental Health Commitment Records. Accessed on December 17, 2024, from:

Pearce, M. J., Pargament, K. I., Oxhandler, H. K., Vieten, C., & Wong, S. (2020). Novel online training program improves spiritual competencies in mental health care. Spirituality in Clinical Practice7(3), 145.

Turton, E., Myles, L., Lee, J., Saffin, V., & Lawson, A. (2022). Improving awareness of the HCR-20 and risk assessment process. International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, (Preprint), S1-S5. State Laws for Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Assignment


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