To access mental health, addictive disease and crisis services 24/7 call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line 1-800-715-4225
Call GCAL if you or someone you know:
- Threatens to or talks about hurting or killing themselves
- Feels hopeless
- Feels rage or uncontrolled anger
- Feels trapped, like there is no way out
- Engages in reckless behaviors
- Increases alcohol or drug use
- Withdraws from friends and family
- Feels anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep
- Encounters dramatic mood changes
- Sees no reason for living
If an individual presents a risk of imminent harm to self or others, or is unable to care for his/her physical health and safety so as to create imminent life-endangering crisis call 911. Err on the side or caution. Request a CIT officer if available. These officers (Crisis Intervention Team) have received special training in how to deal with individuals exhibiting symptoms of mental illness. The following law enforcement agencies have CIT-trained personnel.
Atlanta Police Department
Alpharetta Police Department
Dunwoody Police Department
Fulton County Police Department
Roswell Police Department
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office
If there is no CIT officer available:
- Get the operator’s name and operator number
- Let him/her know “this is a call requesting assistance for someone in a mental health crisis; I need to get them to a hospital, off the streets, etc.
- Let them know that you DO NOT want them to go to jail
- It’s imperative that the caller gives specifics about their loved one with mental illness, i.e., “no one is hurt, they are pounding their fist against the wall, etc. and be prepared to answer honestly on questions about weapons.
From the Treatment Advocacy Center, a FREE app for your smartphone to help families during a crisis situation.
Obtaining A Court-Ordered Psychiatric Evaluation
Family or concerned others can initiate an involuntary psychiatric evaluation for a mentally ill individual through the Probate Court of the county where that person resides. Two people must go to the court and complete affidavits testifying to the following:
- He or she has seen the mentally ill individual within the last 48 hours
- The individual presents an imminent danger to self/others, evidenced by recent overt acts or expressed threats of violence OR is unable to care for physical health and safety so as to create an imminently life-endangering crisis.
Based on the affidavits, the probate judge can then order for the county sheriff to apprehend the mentally ill person and transport him/her to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. The evaluation may result in involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. The court order to apprehend the person is valid for 7 days.
Psychiatric Evaluation via Hospital Emergency Department
General hospital emergency rooms provide evaluation of individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis. If necessary, the ER physician can order involuntary inpatient treatment and arrange transportation to a psychiatric facility.