Request for a Psychiatric Evaluation

Request for a Psychiatric Evaluation

Requesting a psychiatric evaluation through a court order is a legal process available to everyone in the province of Quebec. The principal goal of a court order is as a preventative measure to ensure that an individual receives an evaluation of the level of danger of a given situation by trained professionals. It is invoked to help an individual who may be struggling with a mental illness or is in an acute crisis, and who is an imminent threat to themselves or others. A psychiatric evaluation can also be the first step in receiving long-term treatment and an accurate diagnosis.

The decision to invoke a court order should not be taken lightly. The use of a court order for a psychiatric evaluation, fundamentally removes an individual’s right to consent to treatment. It is only used in the most desperate and acute cases, where no other form of treatment or services can be provided in a timely manner to reduce the level of danger for the individual in need. The use of a court order can be a trying and difficult procedure for both the family and the individual being evaluated. It is important to talk to a trained professional beforehand about the use of the order and how that may affect the family system before and after.

The key factor in the use of a court order is the immanency of danger. With the help of a counselor at Friends for Mental Health, we will help you determine the level of severity and immanency of danger with regard to the individual requiring the evaluation. We will also assess the appropriateness of the use of a court order in your situation and what other mental health services may be of help or more appropriate.

A court order mandates that an individual receive a psychiatric evaluation over a 24-48 period by two psychiatrists at a psychiatric facility or hospital. During this period, the individual will be observed, most likely diagnosed (although not always), and assessed for their level of safety to return home after that period of time. If the attending psychiatrists do not feel that the individual is safe to go home or needs further observation, they will attempt a court order through the legal team at the hospital to extend the individual’s stay, for their safety. Follow-up services will be provided for the individual, if the treatment team feels that they are needed or appropriate.

After reading this, if you feel that you would like to inquire more about the preparation of a court order or would like to consult a counselor about an individual close to you, please contact Friends for Mental Health at 514-636-6885 and a counselor will thoroughly explain the procedures and steps to be taken to help you work through this procedure and talk to you about the way in which this may or may not be beneficial in your case.

Please do not hesitate to contact the police at 9-1-1, if you feel that your loved one, family member, or someone close to you is in immediate danger.