What to do in a Psychiatric Crisis in Kentucky

NAMI Kentucky is providing this information in hopes of assisting you to get the help you need when a family member or loved one is experiencing a psychiatric crisis and will not agree to seek treatment voluntarily.

What are the rules for involuntary hospitalization? (202A.026)

  1. Who presents a danger or threat to self, family or others as a result of a mental illness;
  2. Who can reasonably benefit from treatment; and
  3. For whom hospitalization is the least restrictive alternative mode of treatment presently available.

Doctor’s or other mental health professionals use this “criteria” to decide whether to hold an individual for a 72 hour hospital admission. Weekends and holidays are excluded from the 72 hour period.

If your family member or loved one is not cooperative you may want to seek a Mental Inquest Warrant (MIW) to have them evaluated by a mental health professional.

Is there anyone that can assist me to complete the Mental Inquest Warrant (MIW)?

Yes, assistance is available, free of charge. In all proceedings under this chapter, it shall be the duty of the county attorney to assist the petitioner and represent the interest of the Commonwealth and to assist the in its inquiry by the presentation of evidence.

See 202A.016 Duty of County Attorney

District Courts are responsible for handling involuntary mental commitments. They can direct you to your local office. Click above link for additional contact information. Additionally, if an MIW is entered, please ask that a CIT Officer be sent to the residence to execute the warrant. On a final note, you may want to consider discussing an Advance Directive for Mental Health Treatment with your family member or loved one. This can make a difficult time more manageable in the event of a future mental health crisis.


Mental Inquest Warrant

For information on Kentucky’s Mental Inquest Warrant (MIW) Information (3/12/14)


Kentucky Revised Statute

The complete text of the Kentucky Revised Statute dealing with Mental Inquest Warrants (MIW)



Advanced Directive

Protection & Advocacy explains what is involved in an Advanced Directive


202A.430 Form

Below is the download link for the Advanced Directive for Mental Health Treatment

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided as a service to the community and does not constitute legal advice. NAMI Kentucky makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this document. If you have any questions relating to a mental health emergency you should consult with appropriate legal counsel. This information herein is for informational purposes only.