Broward Behavioral Health Coalition is a network of behavioral health providers that offer mental health and substance abuse treatment and support services for adults and children. Within our community, and our network of providers, are receiving facilities that provide admission for emergency evaluations and treatment for individuals who meet the criteria for both involuntary and voluntary admission under the Baker Act and Marchman Act.

The following information provides guidance to consider when helping a family member or friend.

 Baker Act – Florida Statute 394

Immediate Intervention Options:

If a family member or friend needs mental health services, but is not willing or not able to understand their need for help, you can access assistance from the following professionals to provide immediate intervention, initial assessment, and assistance with involuntary admission:

The Mobile Crisis Team: is a team of behavioral health professionals that serve the Broward community. The team’s professionals can provide immediate intervention and assessment, and provide support and guidance to family and friends. Some members of the Mobile Crisis Team are also licensed professionals than can write an involuntary certificate for admission.

The Mobile Crisis Team can be accessed by calling Henderson Behavioral Health:

Adult Mobile Crisis – 954-463-0911

Youth Emergency Services – 954-677-3113

Law Enforcement Officers with Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT): these are officers that completed an intensive 40-hour training on recognizing and intervening with individuals with behavioral health problems. They can provide immediate intervention, and if needed, can write an involuntary certificate for admission.

Call 911 for help, and request if a CIT Officer is available to respond.

 

 

What is a Baker Act?

The Baker Act is a state law that allows for the involuntary and voluntary placement of an individual in a psychiatric facility for observation and a psychiatric evaluation.

How are voluntary and involuntary Baker Act Admissions different?

A voluntary Baker Act is when an individual in need of emergency services is willing to receive and make application for observation, evaluation and treatment. Voluntary application can be made by any competent individual 18 years of age or older who understands and provides express and informed consent for admission.                               The individual would seek assistance at a Receiving Facility to be assessed and admitted as appropriate.

Once admitted to the facility the voluntary individual must be evaluated by the psychiatrist within 24 hours to determine their need for continued admission, and their ability to provide express and informed consent. If the psychiatrist deems them incompetent to provide consent, they are transferred to involuntary status and the process for continued involuntary admission is initiated. If they are deemed competent to provide consent, and willing to remain admitted for treatment, they remain in the facility for services.

With an involuntary Baker Act, an individual may be taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination if there is reason to believe that the individual has a mental illness and because of their mental illness:

(a) 1. has refused voluntary examination after conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of the examination; or

  1. is unable to determine for themselves whether examination is necessary; and

(b) 1.  Without care or treatment, the individual is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for themselves, and such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to their well-being; and it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members or friends or the provision of other services; or

  1. There is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment the individual will cause serious bodily harm in- the- near- future to themselves, or others, as evidenced by recent behavior.

Once admitted, the law requires that they be evaluated within 24 hours by a psychiatrist who may choose to keep the individual hospitalized or release them. Under the initial involuntary certificate, an individual can be detained for up to 72 hours. If the psychiatrist wants to keep the individual longer than 72 hours, but has determined the individual is not competent to provide express and informed consent to needed treatment and continued admission, the psychiatrist and facility will petition the court and make the recommendation to a judge. The judge may order the individual released or continue hospitalization involuntarily for a specified period-of-time. During the admission and treatment, if the psychiatrist finds the individual stable for discharge, they can discharge the individual prior to the end of the court ordered period.

If the involuntary individual is evaluated and found to be competent to provide express and informed consent and wants to remain in the facility as recommended by the psychiatrist, they are transferred to voluntary status, and continue admission for treatment.

Who can initiate an involuntary Baker Act?

The Baker Act can be initiated by Law Enforcement, Licensed Mental Health Professionals, Physicians, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners, or the Court.

Court Involved Baker Act:

What is the procedure for families and friends to file a Petition and Affidavit Seeking an Ex Parte Order Requiring Involuntary Examination?

A family member or other interested persons may fill out the petition and affidavit in the Clerk’s Office of the courthouse. You will need to provide proper identification, have personally witnessed the individual’s behavior and symptoms, and be willing to be sworn, and possibly testify to the content of your petition and affidavit. There is no fee for filing the petition.

What happens after I file the Petition and Affidavit?

Your sworn-affidavit will be reviewed by the court. If the court believes, based on the information you provided in the petition, that the individual meets criteria for involuntary examination, the judge will issue an Ex Parte, and order law enforcement to pick up and transport the person to the nearest receiving facility. 

When will the order be served on the person?

Once they receive the judges Ex Parte and pick up order, the law enforcement agency will make every attempt to take the person into custody immediately, and transport the person to a facility.

Who can I call for more information?

You can call Broward Behavioral Health Coalition Care Coordination staff at:

954-622-8121.

 

 

 

Marchman Act – Florida Statute 397

What is a Marchman Act?

The Marchman Act is a law under Florida Statute that enables family or friends to obtain help for a loved one who is unwilling to seek substance abuse services voluntarily.

 

Immediate Intervention Options:

If a family member or friend needs mental health services, but is not willing or able to understand their need for help, you can access assistance from the following professionals to provide immediate intervention, initial assessment, and assistance with involuntary admission:

The Mobile Crisis Team: this is a team of behavioral health professionals that serve the Broward community. The team’s professionals can provide immediate intervention and assessment and provide support and guidance to family and friends. Some members of the Mobile Crisis Team are also licensed professionals than can write an involuntary certificate for admission.

The Mobile Crisis Team can be accessed by calling Henderson Behavioral Health:

Adult Mobile Crisis – 954-463-0911

Youth Emergency Services – 954-677-3113

Law Enforcement Officers with Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT): these are officers that completed an intensive 40-hour training on recognizing and intervening with individuals with behavioral health problems. They can provide immediate intervention, and if needed, can write an involuntary certificate for admission.

Call 911 for help, and request if a CIT Officer is available to respond.

 

 

 

 

 

What are the specific criteria for involuntary admission and stabilization through the Marchman Act?

A person meets the criteria for involuntary services, if there is good faith reason to believe that the person is substance abuse impaired or has a substance impairment and co-occurring mental health disorder, and because of such impairment or disorder:

(1) Has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance abuse; and

 

(2) (a) needs substance abuse services, and because of substance abuse impairment, their judgment has been so impaired that they are incapable of appreciating their need for such services and of making a rational decision in that regard, although mere refusal to receive such services does not constitute evidence of lack of judgment with respect to their need for such services;

or

(b) without care or treatment, is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for themselves that such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to their well-being; and that it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members or friends or the provision of other services, or there is substantial likelihood that the person has inflicted, or threatened to or attempted to inflict, or, unless admitted, is likely to inflict, physical harm on themselves, or another.

 

Marchman Act – Involuntary Actions Available for Family and Friends:  

Non-Court Involved Actions

Protective Custody: A law enforcement officer may implement protective custody measures when a minor or an adult who appears to meet the involuntary admission criteria is:

(1) Brought to the attention of law enforcement; or

(2) In a public place.

The officer may initiate a Report of Law Enforcement Officer Initiating Protective Custody Certificate and bring that individual to a hospital or to a licensed detoxification or addictions receiving facility for emergency admission, assessment, and stabilization, as needed.

Licensed or Certified Professional Certificate for Emergency Admission and Stabilization: An individual who meets the criteria for involuntary admission may be admitted to a hospital or to a licensed detoxification facility or addictions receiving facility for emergency assessment and stabilization upon the initiation of a Professional Certificate by one of the following licensed or certified professionals, (physician, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, a psychiatric nurse, a clinical psychologist, a clinical social worker, a marriage and family therapist, a mental health counselor, a physician assistant working under the scope of practice of the supervising physician, or a master’s-level-certified addictions professional for substance abuse services).

Court Involved Actions:

Families and friends can directly petition the court for involuntary assessment and stabilization for substance abuse impaired individuals. Filing the petition is free and must be filed with the clerk of the court in the county where the individual is located.

Other individuals that can petition the court for involuntary assessment, stabilization, include (a Private Practitioner or the Director or designee of a licensed service provider)

An individual determined by the court to appear to meet the criteria for involuntary admission may be admitted for a period of up to 5 days to a hospital, licensed detoxification facility, or addictions receiving facility for involuntary assessment and stabilization.

What happens after I file the petition with the court for involuntary admission and stabilization?

The court shall issue a summons to the individual whose admission is sought and conduct a hearing within 10 days; or

without the appointment of an attorney and, relying solely on the contents of the petition, enter an Ex Parte order authorizing the involuntary assessment and stabilization of the individual. The court may order a law enforcement officer or other designated agent of the court to take the individual into custody and deliver them to the nearest appropriate licensed service provider.

If the judge opts to issue a summons for a hearing, the individual has the right to an attorney. Individuals can hire their own attorney or have one appointed at no cost, by the court.

Why is it important to petition the court for involuntary outpatient services beyond the initial involuntary assessment and stabilization?

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds.

 

 

Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit” by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This reward system controls the body’s ability to feel pleasure and motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable “high” that can lead people to take a drug again and again.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine by making less of it and/or reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high. It can also cause them to get less pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:

  • learning
  • judgment
  • decision-making
  • stress
  • memory
  • behavior

 

Who can petition the court for involuntary outpatient services?

A petition for involuntary services may be filed by the individual’s spouse or legal guardian, any relative, a service provider, or an adult who has direct personal knowledge of the individual’s substance abuse impairment and their prior course of assessment and treatment. The petition must be filed with court in the county the individual is located. There is no fee for filing.

What happens after I file the petition with the court for involuntary outpatient services?

The court will schedule a hearing within 5 days unless a continuance is granted. The individual has the right to an attorney. Individuals can hire their own attorney or have one appointed at no cost, by the court.

How long can a person be court ordered into outpatient treatment services?

The court may order the individual to receive involuntary services from a publicly funded licensed service provider for a period not to exceed 90 days. The court may also order an individual to undergo treatment through a privately funded licensed service provider if the individual has ability to pay for the treatment, or if any person on the individual’s behalf voluntarily demonstrates a willingness and an ability to pay for the treatment.

Who can I contact for additional information?                                                                  You can contact Broward Behavioral Health Coalition Care Coordination staff at:             954-622-8121.

Receiving Facilities in Broward County

 

 

 
Broward Health Medical Center 1600 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Phone: (954) 355-4400

Fort Lauderdale Hospital 1601 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: (954) 463-4321

Henderson Behavioral Health CSU 2677 NW 19th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Phone: 954-739-8066

Memorial Regional Hospital 3501 Johnson St, Hollywood, FL 33021

Phone: (954) 987-2000

Atlantic Shores Hospital 4545 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

Phone: (954) 771-2711

Broward Health Imperial Point 6401 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

Phone: (954) 776-8500

Florida Medical Center 5000 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33313

Phone: (954) 735-6000

Larkin Community Hospital 1201 N 37th Ave, Hollywood, FL 33021

Phone: (954) 962-1355

Plantation General Hospital 401 NW 42nd Ave, Plantation, FL 33317

Phone: (954) 587-5010

University Pavilion Hospital 7425 N University Dr., Tamarac, FL 33321

Phone: (954) 724-6502

 

 

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