Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)

“Kendra’s Law” (§9.60 of the Mental Hygiene Law) mandates mental health services for a small number of individuals who have difficulty engaging in rehabilitation and can pose a risk to themselves or others in the community. The order is granted in civil court. The New York City Assisted Outpatient Treatment program is responsible for the implementation of Kendra’s Law in the five boroughs of New York City.

Who is Eligible for AOT?

An individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Suffer from a mental illness and
  • Be unlikely to survive in the community without supervision based on a clinical determination and
  • Have a history of lack of compliance with treatment for mental illness which has led to:
    • Two hospitalizations for mental illness in the preceding three years or
    • One act of violence towards self or others, or threats of serious physical harm to self or others, within the preceding four years (time period may be extended in the event of current or recent hospitalizations) and
  • Be unlikely to voluntarily participate in outpatient treatment that would enable him or her to live safely in the community as a result of the individual’s mental illness and
  • Based on treatment history and current behavior, be in need of outpatient treatment to prevent a relapse or deterioration likely to result in serious harm to self or others and
  • Likely benefit from Assisted Outpatient Treatment

Who can refer someone to the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program?

Almost anyone with personal contact with the individual can make a referral including family, roommates, treatment providers, and parole or probation officer.

How long does the person remain in the AOT Program?

A civil court can grant an AOT order of up to one year. Prior to the order expiring, a psychiatrist will conduct an exam to determine if the consumer will still benefit from an AOT order and will make a recommendation to the court. A judge will then decide at another civil court hearing if the order should be renewed.

What happens if the consumer does not comply with the terms of the court order?

If the consumer is not complying with an aspect of their treatment plan, AOT will collaborate with the treatment provider. After the service providers have made every attempt to engage the consumer to no avail, and it appears that the consumer may require inpatient hospitalization a provider may request that the individual be involuntarily transported to a hospital’s psychiatric emergency room.

To learn more about making an inquiry or referral for an AOT Order please call one of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program’s main numbers:

  • Manhattan AOT Team: 347-396-7373
  • Queens AOT Team: 347-396-7004
  • Bronx AOT Team: 347-396-7375
  • Brooklyn/Staten Island AOT Team: 347-396-7374

More Resources

For 24 hour / seven days per week mental and behavioral health information call 988.

Find the right drug or alcohol abuse treatment program with the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.