Care and Treatment for Mentally Ill Persons

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When an officer discovers a person in distress, he or she will cause a representative of Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas to conduct a screening and submit a report to the County Attorney's Office. The County Attorney then files the application before the district court and obtains an order for protective custody.

Upon the filing of the application, the district court may make preliminary orders for mental evaluation. In the Coffey County area, the proposed patient typically undergoes such an evaluation at Osawatomie State Hospital within 48 hours, and is then returned to the district court for further consideration.

The proposed patient may retain counsel, but more often than not counsel is appointed to represent the patient at the review hearing. At the hearing, the County Attorney appears in aid to the court and presents witness testimony and evidence in the form of expert reports.

Further care and treatment proceedings are often transferred to the county where the patient is undergoing treatment. The court may require the patient to undergo further evaluation and treatment, or, if the episode was merely a temporary dysfunction, the court may discharge the patient.