Suicidal Thoughts (72-Hour Hold)

Your doctor has determined that your thoughts and actions suggest that you are suicidal. They have determined that there is a risk that you may try to harm yourself if you leave here. This is most often a sign of depression or excess anger at yourself or someone else. With your protection and well-being in mind, you have been placed on a legal 72-hour hold. This is so that you can be assessed by a psychiatrist.

What is a 72-hour hold?

The law requires that you must be held for up to 72 hours for a psychiatric evaluation if a certified person such as a healthcare provider, , police officer, or sheriff's deputy determines that you are:

  • A danger to yourself or others, or

  • Not able to care for yourself, or

  • Gravely disabled

This hold is enforced even if you don't consent.

Follow-up care

When you are released, follow up with your doctor or mental health provider for continued medical care. This is very important for your ongoing well-being.

Call or text 988

Call or text 988 if you have suicidal thoughts, a suicide plan, and the means to carry out the plan, or serious thoughts of hurting someone else. When you call or text 988, you will be connected to trained crisis counselors at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. An online chat option is also available. Lifeline is free and available 24/7.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider or emergency services right away if any of the following occur:

  • Symptoms gradually or suddenly return

  • Medicine side effects develop

  • Feeling very depressed, anxious or angry toward yourself or others

  • Feeling out of control

  • Feeling that you may try to harm yourself or someone else

  • Hearing voices that others don't hear

  • Seeing things that others don't see

  • Having extreme mood swings

  • Not able to sleep or eat for 3 days in a row

  • Family or friends are concerned about your well-being and behaviors and ask you to seek help

To learn more

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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