The Florida Mental Health Act or law is known as the Baker Act. This can be initiated by law enforcement members. physicians, psychiatrists, and judges. This law in normally enforced when someone is endangering themselves or other's or becomes a "threat" to endanger themselves or other's. This Act may also apply to other regulatory drug rehabilitation as well, and other's. This Act empowers these individuals to place an individual under court order effective immediately voluntarily or involuntarily against their will in this type of situation for their safety or the safety of others. The person being "Baker Acted" (Yourself and your wife) will see a judge usually within the first 24-48 hours of Act enforced and he/she (judge) will decide and make a decision/judgment as to when the Act will expire for release. Since your wife is being recommended to a nursing home, the psychiatrist or social worker there will follow up with the State Department related to her condition on a weekly basis. In some instances, the person Baker Acted may be released earlier than original date on "Good Behavior". But with your case, it was you who had made the threats to do harm, so she is most likely being retained currently for her safety and/or health issues. Even though you are currently her health care surrogate or power of attorney, the state's decision here will over ride under the Baker Act. This being placed on both of you, may also prevent you from visiting, contacting or seeing her while under the law's retention. I would suggest that you contact the State's Attorney, or your local law enforcement agency, to determine what conditions may apply, as both of you are currently placed under the Baker Act.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.
I understand that this has to be frustrating for both of you, but they are using the threats that you had made against you here. They have to take everyone serious, as some people do cause harm to themselves and other's, so this Act is enforced for your wife's safety. This is a difficult thing, as she probably doesn't understand this whole situation, as she is mentally confused. Unfortunately they have all of the authority currently under the Baker Act, as this now has already been to the judge and the final decision/judgment has been made by the courts. It would be best for you to speak with the physician who will be caring for her and the social worker at the nursing home which she is or will be placed. I would communicate with them your intentions, and discuss your feelings, as they will be in charge if an early release could be suggested. Also, if you were asked to obtain any treatment or counseling, I would recommend that you follow any treatment plans (if any) suggested, as this will help you.
If you have any feelings of hurting yourself or your wife (in the past), I would suggest that you see a mental health care counselor/provider for further evaluation and treatment if necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask.
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