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Civil Commitment

When a person is a danger to themselves or others and will not seek help, they may need to be committed. This page provides information about the process and what to expect.

Sometimes a person may be treated for a mental illness against their will. To qualify the person must:

  • Have a mental illness
  • Be in immediate danger of harm to their self or others, or unable to care for their basic needs
  • Be refusing treatment

Only a judge can commit a person through a court hearing process.

The role of the county is to gather information when a person is placed on a mental health hold. This is to see if that individual meets criteria for a commitment hearing. Staff will talk with the person placed on a hold. They will also talk to treatment providers, family members and others who have may have helpful information. This information is used to determine if a commitment hearing can be held.

If it appears that a person may meet criteria for commitment, a hearing will be scheduled. Not all individuals brought to a hearing are committed. The judge will make the final decision.

For more information on civil commitment, please call 503-846-3653. This is a non-emergency number.


If there is an immediate threat, call 9-1-1. For urgent situations, contact the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111.