4. Know what your choices are

After you’re assessed, the doctor at the facility can do one of the following:

  • Let you leave the facility.
  • Let you stay in the facility if they think it would help you and you want to stay. This is called “voluntary admission”.
  • Make you stay for up to 2 weeks in the facility even if you don’t want to stay. This is called “involuntary admission”.

Voluntary admission

You may choose to stay at the facility for even though the doctor said you can leave. If you stay, you have the right to leave at any time.

Involuntary admission

If the doctor thinks you need to stay for treatment and you don’t agree, they must give you a “Form 30” explaining why.

If you get a Form 30, you have the right to talk to a Rights Adviser. A Rights Adviser is person who knows what the law says about mental health care.

A Rights Adviser meets you as soon as possible after you become an . The Rights Adviser will explain how Form 30 affects your rights. They can answer your questions about the mental health system and tell you what your legal options are.

A Rights Adviser is not a lawyer, but they can help you contact a lawyer if you want one. A Rights Adviser is there to help you and does not work for the doctors or the facility.

If you’re a patient in a and need help finding a Rights Adviser, you can contact the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office at 1-800-578-2343.

For more information on how to challenge the doctor’s decision to keep you in the facility, or to understand the difference between voluntary and involuntary patients, see “When can I be held in a psychiatric facility against my will?

Hide this website