Kansas, 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 inpatient (community) treatment, which is known in Kansas as "court-ordered outpatient treatment." Kansas still uses an involuntary treatment standard based primarily on a person’s likelihood of being dangerous instead of using a more progressive “need for treatment” standard as in many states.


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

  • lack capacity to make informed decision concerning treatment and either:
    •  be a danger to self/others/property or, 
    • be substantially unable to provide for basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, health or safety

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

  • The same standard applies for outpatient treatment except a person must also:
    •  be likely to comply with outpatient treatment order and,
    • not likely be a danger to self/others/community while subject to outpatient treatment order

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.


Kansas News

  • Keeping mentally ill out of Kansas Jails
    on 10/06/10 ( Blog / KS )
    A Kansas County has received two federal grants to find out what will keep mentally ill petty criminals out of jail.
  • Saving Money at What Cost?
    on 01/27/09 ( Blog / KS )

    It is not news that states are looking for ways to cut budgets during this tough economic time. 

  • Helping Police on the Line
    on 08/28/08 ( Blog / KS )

    “It could be your uncle, your cousin, your sister, your baby, your son or your daughter. You never know who's going to come up with mental illness.”


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