Staff Procedures for Students in Need of Mental Treatment

When a staff member encounters a student in need of mental treatment, each has a responsibility to assist with no unnecessary delay in a manner prescribed herein.

From time to time a staff member will encounter a student in need of mental treatment. Chapter 91 1/2 of the Illinois Revised Statutes is referred to as the Mental Health Code Act. That Act defines a "Person in need of Mental Treatment as any person afflicted with mental illness (not including a person who is mentally retarded) who as a result of mental illness is REASONABLY EXPECTED TO INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY PHYSICALLY INJURE HIMSELF OR OTHER PERSONS, or is unable to care for himself so as to protect himself from physical injury or to provide for his own physical needs."Under Illinois law, persons may be committed involuntarily to a hospital for observation, only if they are judged likely to cause physical harm to themselves or to others. A petition for involuntary commitment must be accompanied by the certificate of a physician certifying that the person is in need of immediate hospitalization. Only in rare and exceptional circumstances can involuntary hospitalization be accomplished without the certificate of a physician.

When a staff member has knowledge of a student in need of mental treatment he/she has a responsibility to assist in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Referral to either the McKinley Health Center Mental Health Division, (217) 333-2710
    or
    Psychological and Counseling Center, 206 Student Services Building, (217) 333-3704.
  2. Consultation in person or by telephone with one of the psychiatrists or psychologists if student is willing to accept a referral for evaluation.
  3. If the student is willing, escort the student to McKinley Hospital. If assistance in transportation is needed, call the University Police, (217) 333-1216. They will decide on what basis and under what arrangements the student may be transported. If an ambulance is needed, the police officer can make arrangements over his/her radio.
  4. If the student is unwilling, consult a professionally competent person from the Mental Health Division or the Psychological and Counseling Center.

WHEN THE DETERMINATION IS MADE THAT A PERSON IS IN NEED OF MENTAL TREATMENT AND "IMMEDIATE HOSPITALIZATION IS NECESSARY FOR THE PROTECTION FROM PHYSICAL HARM OF SUCH PERSON, OR OTHERS..." IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THERE BE NO UNNECESSARY DELAY.

When it becomes necessary for any staff member to initiate an "emergency admission" for a person "in need of mental treatment", the Emergency Campus Affairs Dean on duty must be notified, (217) 333-0050.