The court appoints the Public Conservator to support adults who are unable to meet their basic needs and accept voluntary treatment due to serious mental illness, chronic alcoholism, or severe substance use disorder. The court accepts conservatorship referrals from hospitals, designated facilities, and the community through outpatient referrals.
The referred person must meet a narrow definition of “grave disability” due to serious mental illness, chronic alcoholism, or severe substance use disorder that prevents them from meeting their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and personal safety The court must also determine that the referred person is unable or unwilling to accept voluntary treatment.
The Public Conservator has the legal responsibility to:
- Collaborate with medical and mental health clinicians.
- Authorize psychiatric treatment and placement.
- Coordinate other supportive services to promote wellness and recovery in the least restrictive setting possible.