A Helping Hand for Confused Virginians


(Oct. 31, 2012) In Virginia, the practice of providing outpatient care under court order to individuals who struggle with treatment adherence is known as “mandatory outpatient treatment” (MOT). This is simply another name for Virginiawhat we at the Treatment Advocacy Center call assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).
The maze-like nature of Virginia’s MOT law has long confounded families and caregivers.

Historically, the law offered two potential ways to obtain mandatory outpatient treatment, each with its own set of eligibility criteria. In 2012, Virginia enacted amendments to its MOT law, empowering doctors, community service boards and family members to petition for a person currently hospitalized under an inpatient commitment to receive assisted outpatient treatment upon discharge.

As welcome as this new option is, it did nothing to simplify the law. On the contrary, it added yet another set of eligibility criteria to apply under the new procedure.

To aid Virginians who believe a loved one with severe mental illness might benefit from mandated treatment, the Treatment Advocacy Center has prepared a brief explanation of the three potential ways to pursue it and the criteria that apply for each. Click here for our memo entitled “Obtaining ‘Mandatory Outpatient Treatment’ in Virginia.” For further detail or clarification about the Virginia law, please feel free to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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