It’s difficult to understand the difference between civil commitment proceedings, on the one hand, and guardianship or conservatorship proceedings on the other hand. In Arizona (the rules may be very different in other states, so be cautious about generalizing from our system) civil commitment is a separate type of proceeding. Its goal is to force a mentally ill person into treatment — and family members are not parties to the proceeding itself.
In this week’s podcast episode, we try to demystify the differences between the two types of proceedings. We also talk about how limited family involvement can be in civil commitment proceedings, and how frustrating that can be for the very people most concerned about getting effective mental health care.