PROCEDURES FOR EMERGENCY AND NON-EMERGENCY COMMITMENTS
If you have a family member or friend that you believe requires immediate treatment for a mental illness and/or chemical dependency you may contact the Columbia Area Mental Health Center at (803)898-8888 or if after hours the Community Crisis Response and Intervention (CCRI) at 833-364-2274 (833-DMH-CCRI), and they will request an Emergency Commitment, also known as a Detention Order if appropriate. The CCRI operating hours are 24/7. The CAMHC operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The requirements for a Detention Order are as follows:
- The individual must pose an immediate threat to self or others.
- If threats were made, they must have been witnessed by the petitioner within 24 hours of the Detention Order request.
- The petitioner must know where the individual is currently located. (This will assist law enforcement in locating and detaining the individual.)
- It is helpful to know whether the individual has a history of mental illness and/or chemical dependency.
- It is helpful to know whether the individual is currently taking any medication(s).
- It is helpful to know whether the individual is having any self-care or self-neglect issues, such as not sleeping, not eating, or neglecting hygiene, that suggest the possibility of harm to self.
Based on the information provided to the Mental Health Professional, the Detention Order request may or may not be forwarded to the Probate Court for approval. If approved, the Probate Court will issue a Detention Order and if law enforcement not already on the scene they will be dispatched to locate and detain the individual. The individual will be transported to CAMHC, the emergency room, or wherever the CCRI clinician designates for an examination. If, in the opinion of the mental health professionals, the individual meets the requirements for an emergency commitment, then the individual will be admitted to an appropriate treatment facility.
If you have a family member or friend that you believe requires non-emergency treatment for either a mental illness or chemical dependency, you may contact the Columbia Area Mental Health Center (CAMHC) at (803)898-8888 and request a Petition for Judicial Admission. The CAMHC operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
- The CAMHC will send the Judicial Petition to the Probate Court.
- The Court will schedule an examination for the person with the alleged mental illness or chemical dependency.
- You will receive notice from the Court of the place, date, and time of the scheduled examination and as the petitioner, you are required to attend the examination to offer information that will be considered by the examiners.
- The individual will also receive notice of the examination by both mail and personal service.
- After the examination, if the individual is found to be a mentally ill or chemically dependent person in need of treatment, a hearing will be held by a Probate Judge. Notice of the hearing will be provided to both the petitioner and the mentally ill/chemically dependent person.
Non-Emergency Examinations are scheduled in the order in which the Petitions are received by the Court. Therefore, please allow adequate time for the Petition to be processed, before contacting the Court. Once a Petition has been filed with the Court, it is unable to be cancelled.
NOTE: The Commitment process is not initiated at the Probate Court. You will be directed to contact the appropriate agency to begin the process. If there are additional questions, you may contact the Commitment Division by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Resources & Services
Authorization and Release of Information from Commitment Division Files
Columbia Area Mental Health Center
Directions to Emergency Services of Columbia Area Mental Health Center
Earle E. Morris, Jr. Alcohol & Drug Addiction Center (Morris Village)
G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital
Lexington/Richland Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council - The Behaviorial Health Center of the Midlands
Palmetto Health Baptist
Palmetto Health Richland
South Carolina Department of Mental Health
Directions to William S. Hall