Mental Health

This page is maintained by the Judicial Council’s Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC) and includes tools, resources, and information for judicial officers, court staff, and justice partners to meet the mental health needs of adults, youth, and families involved in the civil court system. CFCC is dedicated to improving the quality of justice and services to meet the diverse mental health needs of adult, children, youth, and families using the California civil courts. This is accomplished through three Mental Health programs: Adult Civil Mental Health, Conservatorship, and Children, Youth and Families Mental Health.

Adult Civil Mental Health

Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act: The CARE Act is a first-in-the-nation process to connect individuals with untreated schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders to critical behavioral health services, housing, and other supports through a civil court process.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment: The Assisted Outpatient Treatment, known as Laura’s Law, allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for individuals with serious mental illness who are unable to survive safely in the community without supervision.

Lanterman-Petris-Short Act: The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (“LPS”) authorizes involuntary psychiatric treatment in very limited circumstances. The LPS Act was enacted in 1967 and sought to “end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of persons with mental health disorders”.

For more information about CFCC’s adult civil mental health programs please visit this page.


A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person (a conservator) to care for another adult (the conservatee) who cannot care for themselves or manage their own finances. Please visit this page for more information.

Children, Youth, and Families Mental Health

CFCC works to strengthen the judicial branch’s response addressing the mental health needs of youth and families who are involved, or at risk for involvement, with the court system. This is accomplished through the development of training, resources, information, data collection, and analysis. Goals include:

  • Increase the knowledge and awareness of judicial officers, court staff, and justice system partners about court-related mental/behavioral health strategies, programs, and services for youth/juveniles.
  • Increase the ability and skill level of judicial officers who hear cases involving youth and families with mental health needs.
  • Assist courts with linkages to local mental health resources and treatment/service providers for youth and families with mental health needs.
  • Determine mental health training needs and develop interdisciplinary training opportunities for judges and court staff with justice system partners.
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive resource exchange on mental health needs, mental health services, and other resources to assist courts in addressing the mental health needs of children and families in the court system.
  • Track and monitor the performance of court-related programs designed to address the mental health needs of youth and families in the court system.

For more information about CFCC’s children, youth, and families mental health programs please visit this page.

Additional Mental Health Related Resources

For further mental health resources please see the following JCC web pages:

Adult Behavioral Health Education and Resources

Collaborative Justice Courts

Community and Homeless Courts
Juvenile Collaborative Courts
Veterans Treatment Courts
Research and Publications
Substance and Abuse Focus Grants

Special Education Rights Self Help Page

Department of Health Care Services: County Mental Health Plan Information