County of Marin Health and Human Services

Assisted Outpatient Treatment

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is also known as Laura’s Law (AB1421).

Telephone: 415-473-4321
Address: 3270 Kerner Blvd., Suite A, San Rafael, CA 94901

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Overview

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a service that involves the collaboration of courts and treatment providers in identifying and recruiting individuals with mental illness who may be at risk of grave disability, deterioration in life skills and functioning, self-harm, or violence towards others to engage in intensive, supportive, outpatient treatment. 

California Assembly Bill 1421, also known as Laura’s Law, targets individuals who have histories of declining offered and available services AND whose symptoms have led to multiple hospitalizations, incarcerations, or acts of violence towards themselves or others.  Under this legislation, individuals who meet specific criteria may have a petition filed with the court, recommending that the individual be mandated to participate in mental health services.  The filing of a petition is a civil (not a criminal) proceeding.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Team

The AOT Team consists of a Clinical Psychologist, a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner, and an Outreach and Engagement Clinician.  The team offers the following services:

  • Provide information and consultation as requested 
  • Accept referrals and performs screening for eligibility
  • Provide referrals and resources for non-eligible individuals
  • Conduct outreach and engagement to eligible individuals
  • Link eligible individuals to available services when agreed voluntarily
  • File petitions with the Court recommending Assisted Outpatient Treatment be approved 
  • Connect Court-Settled and Court-Mandated individuals with community-based treatment

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Intensive Treatment Services Offered

Individuals mandated to treatment will be enrolled in County BHRS IMPACT Team.  The IMPACT Team is a Full Service Partnership modeled on Assertive Community Treatment and Recovery principle.  The IMPACT FSP offers:

  • Intensive case management services
  • Assessment and individualized treatment planning
  • Peer and family support services
  • Psychiatry and medication management services
  • Housing support
  • Educational and vocational support
  • Socialization support

Who is Eligible

An individual may be eligible for AOT if they are a resident of Marin County and meet all of the following criteria:

  • Adult, over the age of 18 years old
  • Experiencing a mental illness

History of noncompliance with treatment for mental illness, as evidenced by one or more of the following:

  1. Two or more hospitalizations in the last 36 months (3 years).
  2. Two or more arrests and incarcerations related to mental illness and indicating receipt of services in the last 36 months (3 years)
  3. One or more acts of serious and violent behavior towards self or others in the last 48 months (4 years)
  • Determined by a clinician to be unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision
  • Offers to participate in treatment have been made and declined, with continued failure to engage in services
  • Evidence of substantial deterioration
  • Participation in AOT would be the least restrictive placement needed to ensure recovery and stability
  • AOT would prevent a relapse or deterioration that would be likely to result in grave disability or serious harm to themselves or others
  • Likely to benefit from AOT

Who Can Refer

A referral to Assisted Outpatient Treatment can be made by the following adults (age 18+):

  • Any adult who lives with the individual with mental illness
  • A parent, spouse, sibling, or adult child of the individual with mental illness
  • The director of a mental health institution in which the individual with mental illness lives
  • The director of a hospital where the individual with mental illness is hospitalized
  • A licensed mental health provider supervising the treatment of the individual
  • A peace, parole, or probation officer assigned to supervise the individual

How Do I Refer

To make a referral to the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Team, please call:  (415) 473-4321.

An AOT clinician will return your call to provide information and review your referral. 

Note:  AOT is not a crisis intervention.  If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, dial 911 or call the Crisis Stabilization Unit at (415) 473-6666.

FAQs: 

  • Question:  What happens after I make a referral to the AOT Team?
  • Answer:   The AOT Team reviews all criteria to determine eligibility.  If an individual is eligible for AOT, they will be referred to intensive Outreach and Engagement services to support transitioning into services. 
  • Question:  Will I be able to get updates on the individual I refer if they are found eligible?
  • Answer:  Confidentiality applies to individuals who are referred for AOT.  Team members will not be able to provide information on an individual unless a Release of Information is signed by them.
  • Question:  What if a referred individual does not meet AOT criteria?
  • Answer:  Individuals who do not qualify for AOT will be referred to other county or community services.
  • Question:  When will the individual I refer be court ordered to treatment?
  • Answer:  There is no specific time-frame, as efforts to engage will depend on numerous factors.  When an individual is determined to be unable or unwilling to engage in offered services, a petition will be filed with the court and a judge will make the final decision to grant or deny Assisted Outpatient Treatment.
  • Question:  Are court-ordered individuals required to take medications?
  • Answer:  No.  The court may order treatment, such as meeting with service providers, but cannot compel medication compliance.  Medication support and management is provided.  Medication compliance is completely voluntary. 
  • Question:  What happens if an individual mandated to participated in Assisted Outpatient Treatment continues to refuse to engage or comply with the treatment plan?  Can they be sent to jail or sent to the hospital?
  • Answer:  AOT is a civil order, not a criminal order.  An individual who does not comply can be evaluated by mental health providers and, if determined to be at risk of danger to self, danger to other, or grave disability, the individual can be ordered by the court to be transported to the Crisis Stabilization Unit to assess for hospitalization under WIC5150.   An individual cannot be ordered to be committed to a hospital without an assessment.  An individual cannot be placed in jail for non-compliance.  An individual cannot be forced to take medication for non-compliance.

Additional Resources

Mental Health and Substance Use Assessment

Marin County Access Team
250 Bon Air Road, Unit B - First Floor
Greenbrae, CA 94904
(888) 818-1115

Family and Peer Resources

NAMI Marin
NAMI Marin office:
555 Northgate Drive, #101, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 444-0480
Open Monday through Friday from 1:00 to 3:00pm. Visit for support and information.
info@namimarin.org 

NAMI Marin Help Line: (415) 444-0480
Operator on-call 1:00-3:00pm weekdays.
Help Line staff are family members. We know your urgent need for sharing, support, information, and local resources. We are here to help.

Mental Health and Substance Use Services (MHSUS) changed its name to Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS).  As such, all references in existing departmental policies and procedures to MHSUS can be understood to reference BHRS as well.