How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lively Your Own Question
Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Lively is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife was involuntarilly addmitted to a hospital in Lehigh

This answer was rated:

My wife was involuntarilly addmitted to a hospital in Lehigh County, Pa for mental evaluation. She was apparently addmitted by attending ER phycisian. What is the time frame they can legally keep her? Do I need a lawyer? I would prefer to get her help on an outpatient basis because the environment she is in may only make matters worse. Thanks, Brian.

When someone is involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital it is first for a 3-day evaluation period (this might actually be longer than 3 days if there is a weekend in there). Once this 3-day period is up, if the hospital finds the person a risk to themselves or someone else, they can re-commit the person for a longer period of time. This next period of time will vary but usually isn't more than 1-2 weeks. In rare cases, the hospital can petition a judge for longer commitments that can last a few months.

While there isn't much to do legally at this point, I would encourage you to express your concern to your wife's doctors on the psychiatric unit. They will likely want to know what kind of care she would be receiving at home if they were to release her, so you might want to have this set up prior to your talking to them (this would include outpatient psychiatric care, as well as having you or someone else available to her at home).

Lively and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you