Admissions Process

1. The process for mental health civil commitment for admission to the state hospitals begins with the filing of an affidavit (a legal document) at the Chancery Court.

If a pre-evaluation screening at the mental health center suggests a commitment examination is warranted, an examination must be done by either two physicians or by a licensed, certified psychologist. If they recommend treatment in a hospital or other setting, the judge will make a decision based on all the evidence presented, if treatment should proceed, and if so, at an inpatient or outpatient behavioral healthcare program.

When an individual is committed, the required legal documents consist of: Order of Commitment, Affidavit for Commitment, Certificate of (2) Physicians and Pre-screening are sent to the hospital's Admission Office. Once all required court documents are received the Admissions Office reviews all documents to insure paperwork is accurate then the individual is placed on a waiting list. The courts will be notified when a bed is available.

2. Population Served
    Region 7        Community Counseling Services
    Region 10      Weems Mental Health
    Region 12      Pine Belt Healthcare Resources

3. Licensed Beds:
    Adult Male Licensed Beds        80

    Adult Female Licensed Beds    20

4. All adult females for chemical dependency treatment are referred to MSH. All adolescents females for psychiatric treatment are referred to MSH.

5. Individuals whom criminal charges are pending, for whom a Psychiatric examination has been ordered by the court having jurisdiction over those charges shall be admitted only to MSH at Whitfield.

6. EMSH does not provide services to MR individuals or the developmental disabled unless those individuals are referred for diagnostic evaluation and are exhibiting psychotic behavior, at which time we would admit for short term.

7. Types of Commitment Order accepted: Due to the Department Of Mental Health adopting new guidelines for initiating, amending, and monitoring individuals who are discharged from a state psychiatric hospital on OPC's. Policy has changed to insure the rights of the individual to an accurate assessment of their needs by their community-based care givers after they are released from the hospital.

Although law provides for voluntary psychiatric admission, we have been unable to admit any voluntary admission due to the length of the waiting list for court ordered individuals.

8. If a referral is received in reference to any emergency situation the referral will be forwarded to the Hospital Director for approval. Provisions will be made to expedite the admission upon approval.

9. Inquiries or referrals out-side the catchment area are either referred to the proper agency by the admission staff or to the Hospital Director for approval.

10. An EMSH Campus Police Officer is always present during the admission process. He/she is responsible for the safety of both Individuals Receiving Services(IRS) and staff. Campus Police Officers do a thorough search of personal effects. All potentially dangerous items such as: razors, scissors, knives, matches, cigarette lighters, etc., will be removed.

11. Upon entering the campus on the day of admission, the transporting officer or family member of the individual to be admitted must register at the Main Gate. The Officer at the Main Gate will direct the transporting Officer or family to the Medical Clinic where the individual will be screened by a physician. If the physician considers the individual to be medically unstable or inappropriate for admission because of medical reasons, the court will be notified. The individual will not be admitted and must be returned to the community by the transporting officer or family member until the individual is medically stable. In cases of alcohol and drug commitments, the individual will also be screened by a psychiatrist, if needed, to insure the individual is fully able to receive the benefits of the counseling program.

12. If the individual is considered medically stable and appropriate for admission, the transporting officer or family member, along with an EMSH Campus Police Officer, will escort the individual to the Admissions Office to complete the admission process. The transporting officer or family member must remain with the individual until the physician gives the medical clearance, and the Admissions Staff certifies that the court documents are in order. When the Admissions staff certifies the court documents, EMSH staff will assume responsibility for the individual and the transporting officer or family member may leave. The entire admissions process usually lasts approximately one (1) hour.