Involuntary commitment question regarding use of this practice


Recently moved to a State that only has IVC for inpatient admission. Surprised me only 4 states utilize 2 options for inpatient admissions.

What are your thoughts on only having IVC as a way for a psychiatric/behavioral patient to be admitted?

I find it to be detrimental in offering help to those in need. What is the reasoning behind only having IVC as a way to be committed and admitted to inpatient care?

I say detrimental because where I moved to individuals have to have paperwork signed by a Magistrate and that stays on that individuals record. If someone recognizes they need help and at a point not in any real danger might avoid care due to this reason.


What is your thoughts on not allowing voluntary patients option for inpatient admission?

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing. 1,790 Posts

Is this for all hospitals or just for specific hospital?  (I work at for a State Psych hospital where ALL patients are involuntarily committed under one form of commitment  order or another but there ARE other hospitals which have inpatient psych and where patients may be admitted voluntarily admitted). 

Does this state not have voluntary admissions to (specific types?) of psych hospitals due to alternate programs in community settings that meet the needs of these patients (e.g. respite care, residential care, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization) ?

Is there just such a massive shortage of psych beds in your region that only the most acutely ill / involuntary patients qualify for the limited inpatient resources and thus de facto leads to lack of beds for voluntary patients (I.e. those who may also voluntarily engage in alternative care resources) Rather than like a law or something that says only involuntary patients may be hospitalized which is how I'm reading your post. 

Edited by verene


944 Posts

Under assumption only 4 states have voluntary admission to inpatient psych facility. If incorrect with my information please correct me.

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 922 Posts

So in many states, the State psychiatric facilities will only take comitted or forensic/NGRI patients. However, private facilities and hospitals do take voluntary patients, so that's where voluntary folks would seek treatment. There are typically many more beds for voluntary patients versus involuntary depending on the state. In my state the state facilities MUST take any involuntary referal that comes to them, they can NOT decline a patient unless they are not medically cleared however this may not be the case in every state.

In my state the shortage is for involuntary patients versus voluntary. Doing a bed search for involuntary can take days and sometimes our various state facilities can have a waiting list. And involuntary peds patients, lord, the bed search can be incredibly long!


944 Posts

Appreciate the feedback

Currently cone from working a 2 impatient psych unit's that took involv/volv

Currently work in the ER that only takes involv

So it threw me for a shock






maggie0, ADN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric nursing. 83 Posts

At my place of work, the population is about 50% voluntary, 50% inv. I think it's good to have that mix: each half kind of brings the other half down to reality, if that makes sense.

The state hospital to which we refer patients is 100% involuntary--of course, I guess, because it's not exactly a happy place.