Understanding or at Least Trying to Understand LPS Conservatorship
Prepared by: Former Board Member-Gail Evanguelidi
Generally speaking, there are three possible treatment processes for those experiencing serious mental illness. These are the social recovery model, the Assisted Out Patient Treatment (AOT) and the Lanterman Petris Short Conservatorship (LPS Conservatorship).
The social recovery model in often used when a person has insight into their illness but needs help and encouragement to help them be compliant with treatment and medications. This is the most commonly used treatment for those with serious mental illness.
The second treatment process is the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) AKA Laura’s Law. An AOT is usually helps people who agree with a court order for treatment and who are willing to work toward treatment under the oversight of the court. This process for treatment in not fully implemented in Los Angeles at this time.
The third choice for treatment is the involuntary treatment through the LPS Conservatorship. This is a legal process in which the court approves mandatory treatment and medication. This process is good for people who have no insight into their illness or they are not able to be compliant with treatment and medications. An LPS Conservatorship does not mean that a person is locked up for life. Rather it is a means to provide treatment for them and help them acquire real recovery. To be eligible for an LPS Conservatorship, the person must have 1. A serious mental illness and 2. Be gravely disable.
Only LPS Conservatorship will be addressed in this section.
The LPS Conservatorship Pamphlet attachment gives the directions on how to develop a case which will help in acquiring an LPS Conservatorship. Furthermore, many questions pertaining to LPS will be answered in this paper.
The AB 1424 attachment of the Law should be copied and used if necessary. This law informs all health care providers that they MUST take the information which you are providing for your loved one. The health care providers can not divulge information to you unless they have a release form signed by your loved one.
When a person is under an LPS Conservatorship, then the California Welfare and Institutions Law 5358.5 allows the conservator to place the conservatee in treatment at the discretion of the conservator. This prevents the person who is afflicted with mental illness from having to decompensate to the point of harm to self or others but rather to get back into recovery as soon as possible.
The Court Notification of Treatment places all health care providers on notice that they MUST have the permission of the conservator for all treatment. It is important not to sign a blanket form giving total permission for treatment to the health care providers. You must make it clear that they MUST have your permission for all treatment.
The last attachment, Suggestions When Your Loved One is Incarcerated, presents a guide that might help you acquire treatment for your loved one through the incarcerated process. This is a very frightening time for you as well as your loved one.