What is a Baker Act in Pensacola Florida?

Florida’s Baker Act

What is the Baker Act and What Does It Do?

  • The Baker Act is set forth in Florida Statutes, Chapter 394, Part I, and is also known as the Florida Mental Health Act.
  • The Baker Act provides legal procedures for mental health examination and treatment, including:

o Voluntary admission
o Involuntary examination
o Involuntary inpatient placement (IIP)
o Involuntary outpatient placement (IOP)

  • The Baker Act regulates:

o Crisis stabilization units (CSUs)
o Short‐term residential treatment facilities (SRTs)

  • The Baker Act protects the rights of all individuals examined or treated for mental illness in Florida.

What Is Involuntary Examination and How Is It Conducted?

  • An involuntary exam is a psychiatric exam conducted without a person’s consent, often called “getting Baker Acted.”
  • Involuntary exams are initiated by:

o Law enforcement officers (49%)
o Mental health professionals and physicians (49%)
o Circuit courts (2%)

  • Criteria for involuntary exam are that the individual:

o Appears to have a mental illness;
o Presents a danger to self or others; and
o Refuses voluntary exam or is unable to understand need for exam

  • Involuntary exams are provided only by DCF‐designated Baker Act receiving facilities:

o Hospitals
o Crisis stabilization units (CSUs)

  • Services focus on stabilizing the immediate crisis.
  • Within 72 hours of arrival, facility must release the individual or file a petition for involuntary placement.
  • Average length of stay is 4.5 days.
  • Release must be approved by a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist.

Click here for: Florida Baker Act Information and Forms

Florida Baker Act Public Receiving Facilities in North Florida, designated by the Florida Department of Children & Families, and licensed by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

[Note: Receiving Facilities designated with a (*) are public receiving facilities funded by DCF to provided examination and short-term treatment to persons without ability to pay for private care. Public receiving facilities (that are affiliated with a community mental health center) are required to ensure the centralized provision and coordination of acute care services for eligible individuals with an acute mental illness. The nearest receiving facility, whether public or private, must accept any person brought by law enforcement for involuntary examination.]

DISTRICT 1 in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa & Walton Counties:

  1. Baptist Hospital Emergency Room
    1000 West Moreno Street & Baptist Hospital Behavioral Medicine 1101 West Moreno Street Pensacola, Florida 32501
  2. *Bridgeway Center
    Crisis Stabilization Unit 205 Shell Avenue, S.E. Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548
  3. Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
    1000 Mar-Walt Drive Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547-6795
  4. *Lakeview Crisis Stabilization Unit
    1304 West Avery Street Pensacola, Florida 32501
  5. *West Florida Community Care Center
    5500 Stewart Street Milton, Florida 32570
  6. West Florida Regional Medical Center Emergency Room
    8383 North Davis Highway and The Pavilion, 2191 Johnson Avenue Pensacola, Florida 32514