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.
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