Civil Commitment and Mental Health Care

$7.50 | CE Hours:1.50 | Intermediate

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CE Course Description

Involuntary civil commitment in the United States is a legal intervention by which a person with symptoms of a serious mental disorder, and meeting other specified criteria, be confined in a psychiatric hospital or receive supervised outpatient treatment for some period of time.  This CE course reviews the history and current status of involuntary commitment in the United States, sets forth expert consensus principles to guide the optimal, ethical use of commitment, and provides practical tools to assist in the reformation and implementation of civil commitment laws and systems.

Author:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Civil Commitment and the Mental Health Care Continuum: Historical Trends and Principles for Law and Practice. Rockville, MD: Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2019.


American Psychiatric Association (2015). Position Statement on Involuntary Outpatient Commitment and Related Programs of Assisted Outpatient Treatment. Available at: Position-2015-Involuntary-Outpatient-Commitmentpercent20(2).pdf

Bronson J and Berzofsky M (2017). Indicators of mental health problems reported by prisoners and jail inmates, 2011-2012. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics. NCJ 250612.

Lutterman T, Shaw R, Fisher W., Mandersheid R. (2017). Trend in psychiatric inpatient capacity, United States and each state, 1970 to 2014. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

Retrieved from:

CE Course Objectives

1.  Determine the minimum length of time for outpatient commitment orders paired with intensive services that are associated with reduced incidence of hospitalization and improved quality of life for many persons with a serious mental illness.

2.  Explain two goals of involuntary outpatient commitment.

3.  Identify the inpatient commitment law currently in effect that is required in every state.

4.  Provide three criteria of “dangerousness” necessary for commitment.

5.  Summarize four of the most important factors shaping deinstitutionalization.

CE Outline with Main Points

1.  Origins and Current Status of Civil Commitment

2.  Principles to Guide Civil Commitment

3.  Practical Tools to Assist Policy Makers in Evaluating, Reforming, and Implementing Involuntary Civil Commitment



Social Work Approval

Social Work CE Credit for this course is offered with the following approvals. Many state boards of social work will accept the approvals listed. Provider Approvals by state and license type can be found here.

  • Quantum Units Education is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, CAMFT Provider #89970, to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEP. Quantum Units Education maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.
  • Florida board for Social Workers CE Provider #50-8650 (Quantum 'immediately' reports CE Credits to Florida licensees) 
  • Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, License No. 159.001261 approved CE Sponsor
  • Ohio CSWMFTB #RCST091701 approved CE Provider
  • Texas Board of SWE #5070 approved CE Provider
  • Quantum Units Education, #1289, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 01/03/2023 - 01/03/2026. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 'General' continuing education credits.

To see other approvals in your state, see our state by state provider approval listings here.


CAADE Approval

This course does not have CAADE approval for CEUs.


Course Development: Each course is identified and reviewed by the appropriate Quantum Units Education consultant with professional and licensed expertise in the various disciplines we serve. Our professional consultants oversee course development to satisfy the needs of various professionals based on their board requirements, rate course degrees of difficulty and ensure the course content and exam questions are appropriate, relevant and comprehensive. See our professional staff and their bios here.

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Added On: 08/19/2019

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