How To Find A Voluntary Psychiatric Hold Near Me

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on July 6, 2023
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When it comes to mental health care, understanding your options is crucial. One such option is a voluntary psychiatric hold, which can be an important resource for those in need.

The team members behind Online Mental Health Reviews have worked as therapists, counselors, and in residential mental health facilities. Due to our training, exhaustive research, and writing standards, we can write about voluntary psychiatric holds.

We’ve seen various 5150s firsthand and know how complicated these situations can be. We commend anyone honest and wise enough to admit for a voluntary psychiatric hold.

This article aims to provide comprehensive information on what a voluntary psychiatric hold is, how to find one near you, and the pros and cons of choosing this path of legal criteria.

Voluntary Psychiatric Hold: An Overview

A voluntary psychiatric hold, or commitment, is when an individual willingly seeks admission to a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment. This differs from an involuntary hold (or involuntary commitment), where an individual is legally mandated to undergo psychiatric treatment due to a perceived risk to themselves or others in inpatient treatment.

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About a Voluntary Psychiatric Hold

A voluntary psychiatric hold, also known as a voluntary commitment, is when an individual willingly chooses to admit themselves to a psychiatric hospital or mental health facility. This decision is typically made when a person recognizes that they or family members are experiencing a mental health crisis and need immediate help.

The key difference between a voluntary and involuntary psychiatric hold is that the individual consents to the admission in the former. This is why voluntary patient is often seen as a proactive step towards mental health recovery, allowing the person to be actively involved in their treatment decisions.

There are several steps involved in a voluntary psychiatric hold:

  1. Recognize the Need: The first step is recognizing that you’re in a mental health crisis and need immediate, intensive care. This could be due to escalating symptoms of mental illness, the need for a safe environment to stabilize, or the need for round-the-clock care.
  2. Consultation: Discuss this option with your mental health provider to understand what it entails and if it’s the right step for you.
  3. Admission: You’ll undergo a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation upon admission, and a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs will be created.
  4. Treatment: This could involve medication management, therapy sessions, group counseling, and other therapeutic activities.
  5. Discharge & Aftercare: After your stay, ongoing outpatient treatment is usually necessary to maintain mental health stability and prevent further crises. You may want to learn about the costs of a 5150 in various circumstances, such as with or without insurance.

Why Opt for a Voluntary Psychiatric Hold?

There are several reasons why someone might choose a voluntary psychiatric hold.

It could be due to escalating mental health symptoms, a desire for a safe environment to stabilize, or the need for intensive, round-the-clock psychiatric care.

This choice allows individuals to participate in their care and recovery process actively.

Steps to Find a Voluntary Psychiatric Hold Near You

  1. Use Mental Health Hotlines: Many regions have mental health hotlines that can provide immediate assistance and information about local resources. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) is a great place to start.
  2. Online Search: Websites like Psychology Today’s Treatment Center Directory allow you to search for mental health facilities in your area.
  3. Consult with Healthcare Providers: Your primary care physician, psychiatrist, or therapist may be able to refer you to suitable facilities with lower hospitalization costs.

Pros and Cons of a Voluntary Psychiatric Hold


  • Immediate access to medical and therapeutic care
  • The safe, structured environment
  • Active participation in treatment decisions


  • Potential loss of freedom during the stay
  • Possible privacy concerns in a communal living situation
Depressed and Locked in a Psychiatric Hospital

Resources to Find Voluntary Treatment Near You

Sure, here are some reliable resources for individuals seeking more information on voluntary or involuntary psychiatric holds, mental health hospitalization, and treatment centers:

  1. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI is a leading organization providing advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Their website includes various resources on various mental health topics, including hospitalization.
  2. American Psychiatric Association (APA): The APA provides comprehensive information on psychiatric holds, hospitalization, and treatment options. It’s a reputable source for anyone interested in understanding these processes from a clinical perspective.
  3. This U.S. government website offers a wide array of resources on mental health, including information on mental health disorders, treatment, and recovery.
  4. PsychCentral: PsychCentral has a library of articles on mental health, psychology, and psychotherapy, including pieces on psychiatric holds and hospitalization.
  5. Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic provides an overview of mental illness, including symptoms, causes, and treatment options. It also offers advice on when to see a doctor and what kind of treatments you might expect.
  6. Mental Health America (MHA): MHA is a community-based nonprofit that addresses the needs of those with mental illness. Their website offers a range of resources, including information on treatment options and hospitalization.
  7. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. They offer detailed resources on mental health treatment, including inpatient and outpatient settings.

Remember, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues. These resources are for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice.

What Happens During a Voluntary Mental Health Hold?

A voluntary mental health hold, also known as involuntary care or a voluntary commitment, involves individuals willingly admitting themselves into a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment.

This can be a crucial step when someone is experiencing severe symptoms of a mental health condition that require immediate intervention.

Here’s what typically happens during a voluntary mental health hold:

  1. Admission: The individual, often in consultation with a healthcare provider, decides to admit themselves to a mental health facility. This could be due to escalating symptoms, risk of harm to self or others, or the need for more intensive treatment than can be provided in an outpatient setting.
  2. Evaluation: Upon admission, the individual undergoes a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. This helps the healthcare team understand the severity of the situation and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
  3. Treatment: The individual begins a treatment regimen, including medication management, therapy, group counseling, and other therapeutic activities. The goal is to stabilize the person’s condition and help them manage their symptoms.
  4. Daily Routine: During their stay, the person follows a structured daily routine that includes therapy sessions, meals, recreational activities, and rest periods.
  5. Discharge Planning: The healthcare team works on a discharge plan from admission. This usually involves arranging continued care after the person leaves the hospital, such as outpatient therapy or medication management.
  6. Discharge: The discharge plan is implemented once the person’s condition has stabilized and they’re ready to leave the hospital.

What Happens After a Stay

After a stay at a mental health facility, psychiatric hospital, or outpatient care, whether voluntary or involuntary, the primary focus is transitioning back to daily life while maintaining mental health stability. This process involves several key steps:

  1. Discharge Planning: Before leaving the hospital, a detailed discharge plan is developed by your healthcare team. This plan outlines the next steps for continuing care outside of the hospital setting and is tailored to your specific needs
  2. Follow-Up Care: The discharge plan usually includes follow-up appointments with mental health professionals. These could be psychiatrists, psychologists, or therapists who will continue to provide treatment and monitor progress
  3. Medication Management: If medications were prescribed during the hospital stay, taking them as instructed is essential. Regular check-ins with the prescribing doctor are also important for monitoring any side effects and assessing the effectiveness of the medication.
  4. Outpatient Therapy: Ongoing therapy is often recommended to help manage symptoms, learn coping strategies, and address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the need for hospitalization
  5. Support Networks: Connecting with supportive friends, family, or support groups can be beneficial during this transition period. They can provide emotional support, help with practical matters, and contribute to a sense of community and understanding.
  6. Self-Care: Prioritizing physical health, good nutrition, regular exercise, evidence-based journaling to boost self-esteem and compassion, and adequate sleep can also play a significant role in maintaining mental health.

Crisis Plan of Action

A plan can be critical when dealing with a mental health crisis. A crisis plan outlines the steps to take when a crisis occurs, helping to ensure that the individual receives appropriate care as quickly as possible.

Here’s a general outline of a crisis plan of action:

  1. Recognize the Signs: Understanding the signs of a crisis is the first step. These can include significant changes in behavior, mood, or mental state.
  2. Contact a Mental Health Professional: If you already see one, contact them immediately. If not, many healthcare providers offer emergency services.
  3. Reach Out to Trusted Individuals: Inform friends, family, or caregivers who are part of your support system about the situation.
  4. Use Crisis Hotlines or Text Lines: Services such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) or the Crisis Text Line (HOME’ to 741741) provide immediate assistance.
  5. Emergency Room or Urgent Care: If the crisis is severe or immediate, going to an emergency room or urgent care clinic can provide immediate help.
  6. Follow Your Treatment Plan: If you have a treatment plan in place, follow the steps outlined by your healthcare provider.
  7. Self-Care Measures: Utilize coping strategies like deep breathing, mindfulness, or grounding to help manage symptoms until help arrives.

Signs of a Psychiatric Crisis

A psychiatric crisis is when an individual’s mental or emotional state worsens rapidly, potentially putting them or others at risk. Recognizing the signs of a psychiatric crisis can be vital in seeking timely help and preventing harm.

The symptoms of a psychiatric crisis can vary greatly depending on the individual and the diagnosis of their specific mental health condition. However, some common signs include:

  • Severe mood swings or extreme agitation
  • Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Inability to perform daily tasks
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Difficulty eating or sleeping

Taking immediate action is crucial if you or someone else exhibits these signs. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Reach Out to a Mental Health Professional: Contact them immediately if you already see one. If not, many healthcare providers offer emergency services.
  2. Use a Crisis Hotline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and the Crisis Text Line (text ‘HOME’ to 741741) are available 24/7
  3. Go to the Emergency Room: If the crisis is immediate and severe, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  4. Contact Local Authorities: If you believe there’s immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911.

What To Do When a Mental Health Condition Becomes Urgent

A mental health condition can become urgent or escalate into a crisis rapidly, making it critical to seek immediate help. In such situations, admitting yourself to a voluntary psychiatric hold can be life-saving.

A voluntary psychiatric hold or voluntary commitment to psychiatry involves willingly seeking admission into a psychiatric hospital or mental health facility. This typically happens when symptoms of a mental health condition become severe or unmanageable, posing a risk to oneself or others.

Here are the steps you can take if your mental health condition becomes urgent:

  1. Recognize the Crisis: Acknowledge the severity of your symptoms and the need for immediate help.
  2. Seek Immediate Help: Contact your mental health provider, a trusted friend or family member, or a mental health crisis hotline like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  3. Visit an Emergency Room: If you feel in immediate danger, visit the nearest emergency room where healthcare professionals can provide immediate care and potentially facilitate your admission to a psychiatric facility.
  4. Admit Yourself Voluntarily: If deemed necessary by healthcare professionals, you may choose to admit yourself voluntarily to a psychiatric hospital for intensive care and treatment.

What Hospital Rules to Expect

Suppose you’re considering a voluntary, inpatient psychiatric unit or hold or are being admitted to a psychiatric hospital. In that case, it’s important to understand the rules and expectations of a hospital stay. These rules can vary by facility, but some common ones include:

  1. Personal Belongings: Hospitals often restrict what you can bring for safety reasons. Items like sharp objects, electronics, or anything that could be used as a weapon are typically prohibited.
  2. Visitation: Hospitals usually have set visitation hours and may limit the number of visitors you can have at one time. Due to ongoing health concerns, some hospitals may require visitors to wear masks or other protective gear.
  3. Medication Management: The hospital staff will likely dispense all medications according to your treatment plan. Personal medications are generally not allowed without the approval of the healthcare team.
  4. Behavioral Expectations: Respectful and non-disruptive behavior is expected. This includes respecting the privacy and rights of other patients and staff.
  5. Attendance: You’ll be expected to attend scheduled therapy sessions, group meetings, meals, and other activities unless excused by the medical staff.
  6. Discharge Planning: Discharge planning begins upon admission. Your treatment team will work with you from the start to develop a plan for your transition out of the hospital.

To get specific information about the rules at your hospital, it’s best to consult directly with the hospital staff or refer to their patient guidebook. Understanding these rules can help you feel more prepared and comfortable during your stay.

Voluntary Psychiatric Hold Near Me Conclusion

Choosing to seek help is a sign of strength. A voluntary psychiatric hold is just one of many paths toward mental wellness. Explore your options, consult with professionals, and make the right decision for you.

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If You Are In Crisis

Remember, if you’re in crisis and need immediate help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or use the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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