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Mental Health Warrants Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

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Is there anything I need to do before I apply for a Mental Health Warrant?
A:

With Insurance

  1. Locate a facility that will accept the patient and patient’s insurance. The County cannot provide a referral to a specific facility, but the following are some of the hospitals that have treated residents of Fort Bend County:

    Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire: Houston (713-600-9500)
     
    Cypress Creek Hospital: far north Houston, 1960 @ I-45 (281-586-7600) 
    http://www.cypresscreekhospital.com
     
    IntraCare Hospital: 7601 Fannin, Houston (713-790-7601) or (713-790-0949) www.intracare.org
     
    IntraCare North: 1120 Cypress Station Drive, Houston (281-893-7200)
     
    Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery: 3043 Gessner, Houston (713-939-7272) www.mhparc.org
     
    Memorial Southwest Hospital: 7600 Beechnut, Houston (713-456-5000) www.memorialhermann.org/locations/southwest

    Methodist Hospital: Houston (713-790-3311)
     
    Oak Bend Medical Center (Geriatric Psychiatric Care): 1705 Jackson, Richmond (281-238-7880) 
    www.oakbendmedcenter.org
     
    St. Joseph’s Hospital: Houston (713-757-7512)
     
    West Oaks Hospital: 6500 Hornwood, near 59 & Hillcroft, Houston (713-995-0909 http://www.westoakshospital.com
     
    West Houston Medical Center: 12141 Richmond Ave., Houston (713-588-8318) 
    http://www.westhoustonmedical.com
     
     
  2. If arrangements are made with a facility to accept the proposed patient, take down the name and telephone number for the facility admitting department. When completing the Application for Mental Health Warrant at the Justice of the Peace, this information will be necessary. If the facility is in Harris County, the commitment will most likely take place in Harris County because it is difficult for the doctors in Harris County to travel to Fort Bend County for the required hearings. Therefore, you may be referred to the Harris County Attorney’s Office for further handling.

Without Insurance

  1. If there is no insurance, you may try to locate a facility with an indigent bed available. If no private facility will accept the proposed patient, contact Texana Center at 1-800-633-5686 (available 24 hours a day/seven days a week). Notify Texana that you are seeking a commitment to Austin State Hospita (ASH). Ask if there is space available for a proposed patient from Fort Bend County.
     
  2. If the only facility available to the proposed patient is Austin State Hospital, the commitment will take place in the City of Austin and Travis County courts will handle the proceedings.
What is a Mental Health Warrant?
A:
A Mental Health Warrant authorizes law enforcement to take a person into custody who shows symptoms of a mental illness and is likely to cause harm to himself or others. It is not a warrant for arrest. The warrant orders a person to undergo a mental health evaluation by a doctor to determine if hospitalization is necessary.
What do I do if there is a mental health EMERGENCY?
A:

Call 9-1-1 if the person is attempting suicide or is violent.

If the person is actively attempting to commit suicide or has become violent, immediately call 9-1-1 so that law enforcement can respond.

What are the requirements for a Mental Health Warrant?
A:

For a Mental Health Warrant to be issued in Fort Bend County, the proposed patient must reside or currently be in Fort Bend County.

The applicant MUST be able to present current, specific information that shows the prospective patient is suffering from a mental illness and constitutes an IMMEDIATE danger to him/herself or to others.

IMPORTANT: PAST BEHAVIOR, EVEN FROM A WEEK PRIOR, MAY NOT SATISFY THE CRITERIA IF THE BEHAVIOR IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING SHOWN.

If the proposed patient is incarcerated for a violent offense, no commitment can take place until the proposed patient is released from jail.

Who can file an application for a Mental Health Warrant?
A:

A person may file an application for a Mental Health Warrant if:

  1. He or she is over 18 years of age; and
     
  2. He or she has witnessed the proposed patient’s behavior.

It is a criminal offense to knowingly falsify any information in the Application for a Mental Health Warrant. Therefore, only first-hand information should be included on the application. Any information given from one person to another is not sufficient and will not be considered when the application is evaluated by a judge.

How and where do I file for a Mental Health Warrant in Fort Bend County?
A:

Call the Justice of the Peace for the precinct where the proposed patient lives and let them know you will be coming in to complete an Application for a Mental Health Warrant. Some Justice of the Peace offices close at 4:00 PM; it is recommended to start the process as early in the day as possible.

  • JP 1, Place 1 – 3114 Rosenberg St., Needville: 281-342-7807 or 979-793-3403
  • JP 1, Place 2 – 1517 Eugene Heiman Circle, Ste. 100, Richmond: 281-341-3742
  • JP 2 – 303 Texas Parkway (FM 2234), Rm. 107, Missouri City: 281-403-8080
  • JP 3 – 22333 Grand Corner Drive, Katy: 281-238-1460
  • JP 4 – 12919 Dairy Ashford, Ste. 100, Sugar Land: 281-491-6016

If you have located a facility and are calling after hours, you may call the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 281-341-4665. Let the dispatcher know that you need to contact the Justice of Peace on call regarding a mental health commitment.

When completing the Application, make certain to put the name and telephone number for the facility admitting department, for confirmation by the Sheriff’s Office that the facility is expecting this proposed patient.

If the Mental Health Warrant is issued, the warrant will be sent to the Sheriff (or Texana) and arrangements will be made for the transport of the patient to the facility.

Can’t I just commit someone for mental health treatment?
A:
No. Under State Law, a person can only be committed if they have been evaluated by a licensed doctor and that doctor submits a report stating that the person is mentally ill and at risk for harm to self or others.
Are there any alternatives to filing for a Mental Health Warrant?
A:
Yes. If the person is WILLING to seek mental health services voluntarily, he/she may go to any mental health facility of his/her choosing (if insured), and admit him/herself. If there is no insurance, then the person can contact Texana Center to schedule an appointment.
Can someone be committed for substance abuse?
A:
Texas Law does provide for the commitment of a person with a drug or alcohol addiction. Some facilities may provide out-patient substance abuse counseling programs, while some may provide in-patient treatment. You may contact the facilities listed on page 2 for information regarding substance abuse treatment.
How do I begin the process for commitment for substance abuse treatment?
A:

Just like with proposed mental health patients, you must apply for a warrant to have a person picked up for evaluation. Only a doctor can determine whether to commit a person for substance abuse treatment.

For more information, contact the County Attorney’s Office of Fort Bend County at 281-341-4555.

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