Currently according to federal law a person can not be held against their will in a psych ward unless the person attempted to kill themselves or threatened another person with bodily harm. Because of lawsuits, hospitals or mental facilities are usually pretty careful not to violate this law.
I belong to a couple mental health family support groups and many families have run up against this law including myself when actually trying to get loved ones help that really did need to be admitted at the time.
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