Georgia, 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 Georgia as "involuntary outpatient 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 inpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:
- be in need of involuntary treatment AND
- (1) imminent danger to self/others, evidenced by recent overt acts or expressed threats of violence OR
- (2) unable to care for physical health and safety so as to create an imminently life-endangering crisis and in need of involuntary treatment.
For outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:
- based on treatment history or current mental status, requires outpatient treatment in order to avoid predictably and imminently becoming an inpatient AND
- unable to voluntarily seek or comply with outpatient 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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