Suicidal Thoughts (72-Hour Hold)

Your doctor has determined that your thoughts and actions are suicidal and 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 so that you can be evaluated 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 an emergency doctor, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, licensed clinical social worker, 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

The requirement that you be held for 72 hours is enforced even if you don't consent.

Follow-up care

Upon release, please follow up with your doctor or mental health provider for continued medical care. Follow-up is very important for your ongoing well-being.

Call 911

Call 911 if you have suicidal thoughts, a suicide plan, and the means to carry out the plan, or serious thoughts of hurting someone else.

When to seek medical advice

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

  • Current symptoms gradually or suddenly return

  • Medicine side-effects develop

  • Feeling extreme depression, anxiety or anger toward yourself or others

  • Feeling out of control

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

  • Hearing voices that others do not hear

  • Seeing things that others do not see

  • Having extreme mood swings

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

  • Family or friends express concern over your well-being and behaviors and ask you to seek help

To learn more

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