A medical provider or COMCARE may file a petition in the District Court alleging a patient is in need of care and treatment due to a mental illness. The involuntary commitment process is a civil action and is not a criminal action.
If you believe someone you know is suffering from a mental illness and is a danger to themselves or others, the first step is to get that person evaluated by a mental health professional. There are four options available to accomplish this, depending on the circumstances of each case.
- Take the person to COMCARE Crisis at 635 N. Main for a mental health evaluation. 316-660-7500
- Take the person to Via Christi Hospital on E. Harry (St. Joseph) Emergency Room for a mental health evaluation.
- Call COMCARE Crisis and request a mobile unit visit to the person for a mental health evaluation.
- Call 911 and ask for a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officer to do a welfare check. If the officer believes that the person is a danger to self or others, the officer will then transport the person to Via Christi on E. Harry ER.
When making contact with any of these providers, give as much information as you know including, but not limited to: name, location, diagnosis, age, weapons, and behavior that concerns you.
After the Mental Health Evaluation
Once the person has been evaluated and found to meet the criteria for involuntary commitment, the person will then be screened for placement. The available facilities include Via Christi Behavioral Health Center, Via Christi Senior Behavioral Health Unit, and Osawatomie State Hospital (located in Osawatomie, KS). If the person is unwilling or unable to consent to hospitalization and treatment, COMCARE will electronically file a petition for involuntary commitment with the District Court.
Criteria for Filing a Petition
A petition for Involuntary Commitment will not be filed unless all statutory requirements have been met. A mentally ill person subject to involuntary commitment meets the following criteria as set out in K.S.A. 59-2946(f):
- The patient is suffering from a mental disorder to the extent that they are in need of treatment;
- The patient lacks the capacity to make an informed decision concerning treatment, despite conscientious efforts at explanation or efforts to elicit a response from the patient showing an ability to engage in a rational decision-making process;
- The patient is likely to cause harm to self or others;
- The patient is not solely diagnosed with one of the following mental disorders: anti-social personality disorder; mental retardation; organic personality syndrome; or an organic mental disorder.
NOTE: All four of the above described conditions must be applicable to the patient in order for the patient to meet the legal definition of a person subject to involuntary commitment because of mental illness.
To talk with the Court Clerk of the Probate Care and Treatment Office, dial 316-660-5769
If you have questions about care and treatment procedures, call the District Attorney's Office at 660-3700 and ask for the Care and Treatment attorney or email Office of the District Attorney Probate/Care and Treatment Division - Probate/CareAndTreatment@sedgwick.gov