Ohio, 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 Ohio as "outpatient civil commitment." Ohio 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 both inpatient and outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:
- be a danger to self/others;
- be in substantial and immediate risk of serious physical impairment or injury to self as manifested by inability to provide for basic physical needs and provision for needs is unavailable in community; or
- be in need and would benefit from treatment as evidenced by behavior creating grave and imminent risk to substantial rights of others/self.
Any person can initiate proceedings for court-ordered treatment by filing an affidavit.
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.