A Tulsa Mental Health Court Judge and a state-contracted public health provider will be unveiling the details of a new Oklahoma statute which recently went into effect. Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a minimalist approach to monitoring the mental health of individuals with a recurring adjudicated mental health condition.
It only applies to adults with a continual behavioral pattern which results in being brought before a state court for endangering behavior. It provides for them to live independently, as long as they are sufficiently monitored for compliance with their treatment plan. It also allows for mental health professionals to proactively address issues before they reach an acute condition.
NAMI Tulsa will host the community meeting Thursday, at the campus of Fellowship Congregational Church (29th & Harvard ave.), in Tulsa.
Family & Children's Services will have several of their staff available at the meeting, to discuss the program and address individual concerns. It is expected that representatives of the Tulsa Mental Health Court will also join the event.
Law Enforcement and mental health professionals are encouraged to attend; as well as citizens with interest or concerns.
Outpatient commitment (more commonly known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)) refers to state mental health laws that create civil court procedure wherein a judge orders a person with severe mental illness to adhere to an outpatient treatment plan designed to prevent relapse and dangerous deterioration. Assisted Outpatient Commitment allows the assisted involuntary treatment of individuals diagnosed with severe mental disorders who are living in the community and experiencing a mental illness crisis that requires intervention to prevent further deterioration that is harmful to themselves or others, rather than detained in hospital or incarcerated. The individual may be subject to rapid recall to hospital, including medication over objection, if the conditions of the plan/order are broken, and the person's mental health deteriorates. This generally means taking psychiatric medication as directed and may also include attending appointments with a mental health professional, and sometimes even not to take non-prescribed illicit drugs and not associate with certain people or in certain places deemed to have been linked to a deterioration in mental health in that individual.
In the United States the term "assisted outpatient treatment" or "AOT" is often used and refers to a process whereby a judge orders a qualifying person with symptoms of severe untreated mental illness to adhere to a mental health treatment plan while living in the community. The plan typically includes medication and may include other forms of treatment as well. In England the Mental Health Act 2007 introduced "community treatment orders (CTOs)".
In Australia they are also called community treatment orders and last for a maximum of twelve months but can be renewed after review by a tribunal. Criteria for outpatient commitment are established by law, which vary among nations and, in the U.S., from state to state. Some require court hearings and others require that treating psychiatrists comply with a set of requirements before compulsory treatment is instituted.
When a court process is not required, there is usually a form of appeal to the courts or appeal to or scrutiny by tribunals set up for that purpose. Community treatment laws have generally followed the worldwide trend of community treatment. See mental health law for details of countries which do not have laws that regulate compulsory treatment.