Individuals who are in crisis or experiencing a psychiatric emergency may not recognize their need for treatment. Family members, friends, and concerned citizens in the community may find it necessary to either pursue a mental health warrant or work with local police to intervene with the goal of reducing potential danger to self or others. A warrant is the first phase of the involuntary commitment process.
In the state of Texas the law provides for involuntary commitment, which is the use of legal means to commit a person to a mental hospital or psychiatric ward against their will or over their protests. This civil procedure can be an extremely difficult process emotionally, but it may also be the ultimate life-saving choice. In the mental health community, involuntary commitment is considered a “last resort” option and is mainly issued when an individual is unable to care for him or herself and have demonstrated behaviors indicating they are a danger to themselves or others.
In partnership with NTBHA, Transicare supports NTBHA by acting as the Single Portal Authority (SPA). The SPA is an integral part of the involuntary commitment process by offering a third-party perspective on an individual’s mental health status and the potential need for commitment. The priority is to ensure that individuals are placed in the least restrictive setting that will meet their care needs most efficiently.
After an individual has undergone a psychiatric evaluation and it is determined they would benefit from involuntary treatment, the evaluating facility completes an application for the court and pursues a letter from the SPA to accompany the application. The SPA letter functions as support for the application by recommending involuntary commitment based upon the clinical needs of the individual. If a hospital or other treating facility is in need of a SPA letter, that facility contacts the SPA with demographic and clinical information regarding the individual in crisis. All applications for involuntary commitment must be accompanied by a letter from the SPA. SPA services are provided 24/7/365 coverage to 4 counties (Dallas, Ellis, Navarro, Rockwall).