If I go to the ER seeking treatment for anxiety and/or depression can I be Baker Acted?
Hello everyone, its Mark. And welcome back. In this video, I want to talk to you about anxiety and depression and hospital emergency rooms. So in our practice, we see a lot of cases where people have ended up in emergency rooms. They’ve been suffering from anxiety and depression.
Perhaps they went there voluntarily, perhaps they were taken there by the police, perhaps a family member took them there. But either way they go there, they’re looking for help, right? They want to see a psychiatrist, they want to see a doctor. Perhaps they need medication and they end up getting detained there under the Baker Act. And the question that was posed to me was, well, if I have anxiety and depression, I go to the emergency room.
Am I going to get Baker acted? And my response is, well, it depends. It depends if you meet Baker Act criteria. Baker act criteria mean that you’re suffering from a mental illness and as a result, you pose an immediate danger to yourself or somebody else. And if you don’t meet criteria, you shouldn’t be detained.
But as you know from seeing some of my other videos, the Baker Act unfortunately, can be abused. Not by all emergency rooms, not by all baker activities, not by all police officers. But sometimes, either unintentionally or intentionally, mistakes get made and people get detained. So, yeah, if you go to the hospital and you have issues of anxiety and depression, as a lot of us do, yeah, you can get Baker acted. If somebody asks you if you’ve thought about hurting yourself and you say, yes, in all likelihood you’re going to get detained.
Those are some of the magic words that these folks look for, especially the facilities that like to abuse the Baker Act because they see it as a cash cow and a way to make money from people who have health insurance. Now, the simple fact is, just because you’ve had that thought doesn’t mean to say that you meet criteria. Now, obviously, if you’re sitting there in a emergency room and you’re telling a nurse or a doctor that you want to die and you’re planning on killing yourself, and this is how you’re going to do it, yeah, you’re probably going to get detained. You probably should be detained. I mean, the whole point of the Baker Act is to make sure that when somebody is in immediate crisis, that we are able to stay to take custody on a temporary basis so they don’t hurt themselves or anybody else.
That’s the whole point of the Baker Act. But if you are in need of assistance and it’s not an emergency and you’re not planning to hurt yourself, god forbid, or even take your own life, then one of the great resources is Nami, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nami. And if you go to Google, you can normally find a local chapter in your area. They’re everywhere and they are amazing.
They have tons of free resources, and I would encourage you to go there. Now, I’m not saying don’t go to the Er. What I am saying is if you go to the Er and you have anxiety and depression, that it’s possible that you can get Baker Acted. Now, if that happens, then I’m going to encourage you to reach out to me so we can figure out how to get you out as quickly as possible, especially if you don’t meet criteria. Now.
If you do meet criteria. That doesn’t mean to say it’s game set and matched to the state and you lose and you get stuck there for as long as they decide to keep you. There are other options on the table. And there are other ways that we can help you to get out so that you and your family can start making medical decisions. Mental health decisions that are in your best interest.
That are clinically appropriate. And there are ones that you want to make. That’s your family wants to make for you. Not ones that are Baker Acted. So he’s decided suits them.
Okay? So if that happens, feel free to reach out to us. My phone is on to we’re here to help. So, with that said, thanks for tuning in. See you in the next video.