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People that are suffering from different kinds of psychological or emotional problems can become extremely difficult to deal with. People that have these kinds of issues often have to deal with complicated home lives that could lead to them undergoing therapy in mental institutions. These people can be checked into one of these facilities either by their own doing (known as voluntary therapy) or without their consent.

It is interesting to understand that there are two types of admissions to mental health and therapy institutions – consensual (voluntary) and involuntary. To learn more about voluntary therapy and some of its benefits from Counseling of Southwest Florida, do not hesitate to continue reading below.

What Is Voluntary Mental Health Admission? 

As the name suggests, a voluntary mental health admission is one that involves the patient in question undergoing evaluation and counseling of their own free will. With voluntary admissions, the people that are checking themselves in for mental health counseling and help receive the care that they want during a crisis.

Often, voluntary therapy that focuses on mental health evaluations comes as a result of other medical professionals or trusted people recommending to them that they receive this kind of treatment. Voluntary admissions can also come as a result of people close to the person noticing that the person that requires evaluation cannot handle a current crisis or event by themselves. This kind of admission may also be necessary for the people that live at home with the person to get the rest that they need and a break from the complicated situation that may arise from their struggles with mental health. 

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Commitment

As previously mentioned, the other type of therapy admission that is commonly used is an involuntary commitment. As opposed to voluntary therapy, involuntary commitment is marked by people undergoing mental health attention that is done against their will. A forced admission is not an easy event for families and friends to deal with. Involuntary admissions are seen as a last resort for people that are noticing a deterioration in someone’s mental health. Since, under an involuntary commitment, people are being sent to a mental health facility, there is a wide range of criteria that need to be met in order for someone to be sent to a mental health institution. Some of the most common criteria are explained below: 


  • Someone presents a danger to themselves or others because of their psychiatric condition. Some examples include neglect of personal care, a suicide attempt, or when people that are close to them notice a higher risk of accidents than usual.
  • They have tried other forms of counseling with limited success or no change in their current mental health status. 
  • An independent psychiatrist has determined that they should be admitted to therapy. 


In Florida, The Baker Act was instituted in 1972 to enable doctors, other medical professionals, law enforcement, and judges to involuntarily commit someone to a mental health facility for further evaluation.

Are There Any Other Types of Admissions in Psychiatry? 

While voluntary and involuntary mental health admissions are the most common kinds of admissions used in mental health, there are some other kinds that our Fort Myers trauma therapy professionals would like to detail. The most common of these other kinds of admissions is known as emergency admissions.

Emergency admissions are used when someone is admitted to treatment because of a severe psychotic episode or problem. These are usually a result of some psychotic problems or a suicide attempt. Emergency admissions could either be voluntary or involuntary and could range from lasting a couple of hours to a couple of weeks.

If you are experiencing a dangerous mental health episode, our Fort Myers trauma therapy professionals urge you to seek professional help immediately or call 9-1-1. 

More About Counseling of Southwest Florida

If you need voluntary admission for mental health or any other kind of mental health attention, our professionals are here to help. We are a mental health practice and counseling center that is dedicated to helping our clients with many aspects of their personal lives and mental health.

Our wide collection of services is designed to assist people dealing with addiction with our Florida addiction therapy or some mental health issues like Sarasota grief counseling, therapy for anger management, or grief and loss therapy training, among many others. We also specialize in mending any broken family relationships that people may be experiencing thanks to our assistance through the batterer intervention program. Contact us today to learn more.