Mental Health Services
The mental Health Services Division of the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office responds to reported mental health problems on a 24-hour basis every day of the year.
The Division is primarily engaged in two phases of emergency mental health or behavioral situations. In the first instance the office may issue an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) upon the petition of a credible adult who has observed the subject's actions or behavior. The OPC will result in the subject being taken into custody by police officers and transferred to a treatment facility (usually a hospital emergency room) for evaluation.
In the second instance, the Coroner's psychiatrist will examine a subject at the treatment facility in order to determine whether he is a danger to himself or others or gravely disabled as a result of mental illness or substance abuse, and is unwilling to seek treatment voluntarily. This examination may result in the issuing of a Coroner's Emergency Certificate (CEC) by which the subject is committed involuntarily to a treatment facility.
Therapy and ultimately determination of length of stay then come under the authority and become the responsibility of the medical director of the treatment facility. Involuntary Commitment for psychiatric emergencies may extend up to 15 days; those for substance abuse up to 28 days.
If a more extended commitment is considered necessary, then the medical director or a responsible relative or friend of the patient may petition the court for a Judicial Commitment. The Coroner's Mental Health Services Division can provide a judicial packet for this purpose.
The mental health Services Division also serves as a Resource Center in coordination with other public agencies. such as Elderly Protection Services, Child Protection Services, Crisis intervention Services, Jefferson parish Human Services Authority, etc., by providing assistance to concerned family and friends who are dealing with persons suffering mental health or substance abuse problems.
The Mental Health Services Division of the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office can be reached at all hours of the day at (504) 365-9100.