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


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 2017.

(11th edition, 2017)


The Mental Health Law Manual contains over 300 pages, 7 chapters, forms and appendices, and an index of key terms. Each manual also includes a CD containing PDF files of the 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