In addition to the impact a mental health disorder or chemical dependency can have on an individual, it can also be very stressful for their family and loved ones. We want family members to rest easy knowing their loved one is receiving quality care at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. Read below for details on living arrangements, visitation and the involuntary detention process.
We encourage visitors to enhance positive relationships and communication skills among family members during a family member’s treatment. Visiting hours vary by unit. Please ask the unit nurses for more information. Families visiting from out of town may qualify for special motel rates.
A patient has the right to:
This document is intended as a summary for your use and is only representative of the involuntary commitment court process while hospitalized at Wyoming Behavioral Institute and in the Fifth District Court of Wyoming.
This is often referred to as the “3-81” process. State law allows for involuntary detention hearings to be held where patients are receiving treatment rather than in the counties where they were detained.
Natrona County maintains agreements with many other Wyoming counties to allow hearings to be held at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. This allows for speedier access to mental health treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment for those that need this level of care or hospitalization, especially from counties that do not have inpatient psychiatric services.
Please note: The court appointed examiner may be someone besides your attending physician or therapist. However, the examiner will work closely with your treatment team to develop recommendations. Depending on circumstances and court hearing type, additional evaluation may be required by the examiner.
Please visit with your attorney if you have further questions. The hearings are conducted at the hospital to minimize disruption to your treatment. Wyoming Behavioral Institute does not compensate any of the court appointed officers for that function. Members of your treatment team are employed by Wyoming Behavioral Institute and may provide testimony or opinion at the hearing.
How will I be notified of my hearings?
You and your appointed attorney will receive timely notification of your hearing date and time during your stay. If you do not receive notification, please contact our patient advocate or your appointed counsel.
If you wish to have your own attorney rather than the court-appointed attorney, the patient is responsible for payment and arrangements. The court needs the name and address of your
attorney as soon as possible so your attorney is officially notified of the hearing.
Who will be in the court hearing?
Although the court may decide whom it wishes to call to testify or witness, typically the court hearing will consist of:
Why is my court hearing by telephone or video?
Some counties and courts have decided to conduct their own hearings rather than asking Natrona County to hold hearings on their behalf. Some counties may ask you to appear in court by teleconference. Our staff will make every effort to accommodate these requests.
Please visit with your attorney or appointed counsel for questions regarding this process.