Florida Mental Health Act

The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971 (commonly known as the "Baker Act") is a Florida statute allowing for involuntary examination of an individual.

The Baker Act allows for involuntary examination (what some call emergency or involuntary commitment). It can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians, or mental health professionals. There must be evidence that the person:

  • has a mental illness (as defined in the Baker Act).
  • is a harm to self, harm to others, or self neglectful (as defined in the Baker Act).

Examinations may last up to 72 hours after a person is deemed medically stable and occur in over 100 Florida Department of Children and Families-designated receiving facilities statewide.

There are many possible outcomes following examination of the patient. This includes the release of the individual to the community (or other community placement), a petition for involuntary inpatient placement (what some call civil commitment), involuntary outpatient placement (what some call outpatient commitment or assisted treatment orders), or voluntary treatment (if the person is competent to consent to voluntary treatment and consents to voluntary treatment). The involuntary outpatient placement language in the Baker Act took effect in 2005.

The act was named for a Florida state representative, Maxine Baker, who had a strong interest in mental health issues, served as chair of a House Committee on mental health, and was the sponsor of the bill.

The nickname of the legislation has led to the term "Baker Act" as a transitive verb, and "Baker Acted" as a passive-voice verb, for invoking the Act to force an individual's commitment. Although the Baker Act is a statute only for the state of Florida, use of "Baker Acting" as a verb has become prevalent as a slang term for involuntary commitment in other regions of the United States.

Other articles related to "mental, act":

World Federation For Mental Health
... The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) is an international membership organization founded in 1948 to advance, among all peoples and nations, the prevention of mental and ... Members include mental health service providers and service users ... for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders, an international network of families of people with serious mental illness, merged with the World Federation ...
Mental
... Mental refers to aspects of, or things related to, the mind or, in anatomy, the region of the chin, e.g ... the mental foramen, can also mean People who act in a way characteristic of mental disorders this is often used pejoratively Mental (TV series), a 2009 television series ...
Ideo Motor Response - Ideomotor Response
... It is derived from the terms "ideo" (idea, or mental representation) and "motor" (muscular action) ... phrase is most commonly used in reference to the process whereby a thought or mental image brings about a seemingly "reflexive" or automatic muscular reaction, often of minuscule degree, and ... terminology from which this concept derives, an "idea" may include any mental representation, e.g ...
Clinical Psychology - History
... Wundt, attempts to create methods for assessing and treating mental distress existed long before ... Spiritualism and Phineas Quimby's "mental healing" were also popular ... also were not concerned with serious forms of mental illness ...

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