Mental Health Law Manual
A manual on laws governing treatment of patients with mental health disorders


2019 Edition Coming Soon – Check Back in August to Order!

Providing care to patients with mental health issues is complicated. It isn’t always easy to know what is “right” and what is “legal.”

The Mental Health Law Manual was written to help hospitals understand the laws governing mental health treatment as well as the rights of the patients they serve. The manual also details special protections for individuals who may be unable to make rational decisions regarding their care, specific requirements regarding the use and disclosure of health information and unique reporting requirements.

Written in a user-friendly manner, the manual has been updated to reflect all changes in state and federal laws governing mental health treatment and privacy through January 2018.

New for 2018, CHA’s Mental Health Law Manual is available electronically!

The Mental Health Law Manual is now available as a printed manual, a PDF licensed for individual use, or an individual-PDF/print bundle. Terms apply, see “E-Manual Terms of Use” tab. 

If you are interested in purchasing a PDF version of the Mental Health Law Manual for posting to an Intranet, please contact Bob Mion at or 916-552-7508.

(12th edition, 2018)


The Mental Health Law Manual contains over 300 pages, 7 chapters, forms and appendices, an index of key terms, and several forms, many available in English and Spanish.

  • Overview of Mental Health Laws
  • Principles of Consent for Mental Health Patients
  • Voluntary Admission and Involuntary Detainment for Mental Health Treatment
  • Rights of Mental Health Patients
  • Restraint and Seclusion
  • Health Information Privacy Basics 
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Sample Forms, Posters and Notices
  • Index


“The Mental Health Law manual is a critical resource. It’s comprehensive, well organized, and the information on what details have to be reported to which agencies is great.”
— Elizabeth Brown RN MSN MHA, Nursing Manager, Emergency Dept., Orchard Hospital

“The Mental Health Law manual gives us fast answers to questions dealing with involuntary admissions, restraints and seclusion, privacy and other issues that arise in ED and Acute Care settings. It’s great to have the references right there.”
— Regina Vukson, RN, BSBA, CPHQ, CPHRM, Senior Risk Management Consultant, Optima Healthcare Insurance Services

Forms Policy

CHA includes hard copies of forms and appendices in its manuals for all purchasers. Electronic versions of forms, appendices, and the model compliance plan are available to CHA members for download at

E-Manual Terms of Use

Limited Use License:

In purchasing this electronic publication (Publication), the individual who purchased it (Purchaser) agrees to abide by the terms of this Limited Use License. This Limited Use License: (1) gives Purchaser a non-exclusive, non-assignable, royalty free, perpetual, limited right to use this electronic publication only for his/her personal use; and (2) prohibits Purchaser from posting, reproducing, distributing, disseminating, transmitting, or otherwise allowing anyone else to access or use this Publication. CHA is and will be the sole and exclusive owner of all right, title, and interest, including intellectual property rights, in this Publication and its contents. CHA will strictly enforce the terms of this Limited Use License.

NOTE: Print functionality is disabled in the Individual PDF. If you are interested in posting a PDF to an Intranet please contact Bob Mion at 916-552-7508 or

Purchases that include electronic publications are not refundable.

For questions about the policy, contact Publications.