When Does Involuntary Admission of Mentally Challenged Person Occur?

This question is asked several times by those people considering involuntary admission of mentally challenged kin or individuals forcefully. In other words, An 'involuntary admission' is when you are admitted to a hospital against your will. The Mental Health Act 2001 covers involuntary admissions.  It involves an admission of a mentally ill person to a mental health unit against their will and per the Mental Health Act.

During the process of admission, a number of steps are involved, this entails filling a Schedule 1 by the doctor who personally accessed the patient (Kala & Kala, 2015). Upon completion the person is taken and held at the stated mental health facility against their will, this is called scheduling someone for further assessment of their psychological state.

Once in the stated mental health facility, the patient can only be further confined contrary to their will, if two doctors where one must be a psychiatrist come to an agreement that it is indispensable and by the Mental Health Act. At a time a third doctor may be involved if the two doctors' observation is not in line (Kala & Kala, 2015).

If the third doctor approves that the person has a mental disorder, the patient is held in the hospital for a maximum of three working days (Kala & Kala, 2015). It is worth noting that, for an individual to be involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric health unit, he or she has to pose harm to others or himself or herself.


Gilhooley, J., Umama-Agada, E., Asghar, M., McManus, S., Whitty, P., & Kelly, B. (2017). Voluntary and involuntary psychiatric admissions: involuntary admission status. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ipm.2017.44

Kala, A., & Kala, K. (2015). Involuntary admission and treatment. Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry, 31(2), 130. http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0971-9962.173293




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Date published: 22/09/2017
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