Maine Mental Health Law

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Maine Law for court-ordered drug rehab and involuntary assessment, commitment, and treatment for mental health disorders on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Blue Paper Maine is an order to initiate an involuntary mental health assessment in the State of Maine.

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Blue Paper Maine

The form used to request that someone be involuntarily committed is commonly referred to as the “Blue Paper”.

Who Can Request that Some One be Involuntarily Committed?

Anyone, including health care providers and law enforcement officers, may request that a person be involuntarily committed. They do that by filling out Part 1 of the “Blue Paper”. The person making the request must state:

  • His/her Belief That the Person Has a Mental Illness
  • His/her Belief That the Person Poses a Likelihood of Serious Harm Because of the Mental Illness
  • Why S/he Believes This

The person making the request must also provide the name and address of the proposed patient’s guardian, spouse, parent, adult child, next of kin, or (if none of those exists) friend so that the hospital can fulfill its obligation to notify that person.

What Happens After Some One Starts a Blue Paper?

The person making the request then finds a doctor or other clinical person to do a “certifying examination.” The examination is usually done by crisis staff or hospital staff.

The examiner completes Part 2 of the Blue Paper and must make an official statement that the person examined:

  • Has a Mental Illness; and
  • The Illness Causes a Substantial Risk of Harm to Self and/or Others

The examiner must explain the reasons for her/his opinions and specify the least restrictive form of transportation that would meet the patient’s clinical needs.

The person requesting involuntary hospitalization (usually crisis or hospital staff) then locates a hospital bed and somebody to provide transportation and asks a judge or justice of the peace to sign Part 3 of the Blue Paper, indicating that the application was completed following the law. The judge or justice of the peace doesn’t determine whether the statements on the application are true or not.

State laws are in place to support court-ordered involuntary treatment. Nevertheless, careful planning with a unified approach is essential for successfully using the laws to significantly increase the long term prognosis for your loved one’s recovery.

Although we do not provide legal advice, we do provide services to help support the recovery process for all impacted by mental illness and substance abuse throughout the State of Maine.