Mississippi, like every state, has its own civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when court-ordered treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who are too ill to seek care voluntarily. The state authorizes both inpatient (hospital) and outpatient (community) treatment, which is known in Mississippi as "court-ordered outpatient commitment for treatment." It is one of the 27 states whose involuntary treatment standard is based on a person’s “need for treatment” rather than only the person’s likelihood of being dangerous to self or others.


For both inpatient and outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:



  • show a substantial likelihood of physical harm to self/others as demonstrated by:
    •  a recent attempt or threat to harm self/others or;
    •  failure to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical care. (Explicitly includes a person who, based on treatment history, is in need of treatment to prevent further disability or deterioration predictably resulting in danger to self/others if unable to make informed decisions concerning treatment).

State standards for emergency hospitalization for evaluation and state-by-state information on initiating emergency hospitalization and assisted inpatient or outpatient treatment can be found from our Civil Commitment Laws and Standards page. 


Visit Get Help for tools and information about preparing for and handling a psychiatric crisis.

Visit Get Involved for information about how you can help bring down barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness.


Mississippi News

  • Prayers that Got Answered
    on 03/06/09 ( Blog / MS )

    When a person with a severe mental illness goes missing, the outcome is often tragic. 

  • An ounce of prevention
    on 03/13/08 ( Blog / MS )

    Three weeks ago, Derek Johnson was shot to death by police in Flowood Mississippi.


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    Mississippi Hospital Beds

    Mississippi meets the standard number of hospital beds to treat people with severe mental illnesses, according to a detailed report by the Treatment Advocacy Center.  With about 50 hospital beds for every 100,000 residents, Mississippi was the only state to meet the recommend number. 

    Read the Full Report>>