Voluntary and Involuntary Commitment

Voluntary and Involuntary Commitment

Voluntary and Involuntary Commitment

Recommendation of Voluntarily Commitment

From the provide scenario, a PMHNP should allow voluntary commitment of the client. This is because, in the US, majority of the jurisdictions stipulate that any individual whose age is 14 years and above and has a mental health crisis can be suitable for voluntary commitment (Saya et al, 2019). Additionally, for an individual to be perceived as appropriate for voluntary commitment, the person should be ready to voluntarily consent for admission to a mental health institution. In this case, it would be appropriate to try to seek consent from the client because he is aged 14 years. Voluntary and Involuntary Commitment

Eligibility for Involuntary Commitment

State laws in Tennessee allow involuntary commitment a person meets the following conditions: the individual has a psychiatric condition and requires treatment; and the individual poses a serious risk of harm to others or self and needs treatment (Hedman et al, 2016). According to Dilillo et al (2015) a threat of suicide is a common reason for being admitted involuntarily because the person poses risk to self. In this scenario, the client has a mental condition that is due to relationship issues with the girlfriend and also the client poses a risk to self as indicated by the suicide attempt that landed the client in ICU. The client also needs treatment in order to address the mental issues that led him to attempt suicide.  Therefore, the client is eligible for involuntary commitment.


State Laws and Recommendation for Involuntarily Commitment

The state laws challenged my earlier understanding of voluntary laws. This is because my initial argument was that the client is supposed to be voluntarily committed because he is aged 14 years and above and thus, he can give consent for voluntary commitment. However, after reading the state laws regarding involuntary commitment, it has come to my understanding that a person with a mental condition and poses a risk to others and self and needs treatment is eligible for involuntary commitment (Saya et al, 2019). The client in this scenario attempted suicide and therefore poses a risk of harm to self and thus he is eligible for involuntary commitment to have the mental crisis treated

Actions to Take to Support the Parents for/or Against Voluntary Commitment

If the client was not eligible for involuntary commitment, it would be important to educate the parents regarding the need to have their son committed and the risks associated with not committing the son. This is because the mother who is the client’s custodian is not aware that the son is suffering from a mental condition/mental crisis because she thinks the son is only pretending. Therefore, it will be necessary to educate the parents, especially the mother who is not against the son being committed (McGuinness et al, 2018). The education may convince the parents to give consent to have the son voluntarily committed. Voluntary and Involuntary Commitment

Initial Actions to Take to Treat the Client

If the client was not eligible for involuntary commitment, as a PMHNP, one should seek informed consent from the parents and the client before starting any form of treatment to address the client’s mental condition. Informed consent is necessary before the provision of any medical care given to individuals who are competent to make treatment decisions (Saya et al, 2019). Since the parents of the client have not been declared incompetent, it would be necessary to seek informed consent before starting any form of treatment.


Dilillo D, Mauri S, Fabiano V, Chiara M & Gian V. (2015). Suicide in pediatrics: epidemiology, risk factors, warning signs and the role of the pediatrician in detecting them. Ital J Pediatr. 41(49).

Hedman L, Petrila J, Fisher W, Swanson J, Dingman D & Scott B. (2016). State Laws on Emergency Holds for Mental Health Stabilization. Psychiatric Services. 67(5), 529-535.

McGuinness D, Murphy K, Liz B, Keys M, Heike F, Brian H & Higgins A. (2018). Individuals’ experiences of involuntary admissions and preserving control: a qualitative study. BJPsych Open. 4(6), 501–509.

Saya A, Chiara B, Piazzi G, Ciaccia G, Niolu C & Alberto S. (2019). Criteria, Procedures, and Future Prospects of Involuntary Treatment in Psychiatry Around the World: A Narrative Review. Front Psychiatry. 10(271). Voluntary and Involuntary Commitment