Assisted Outpatient Treatment/Laura's Law

​​​​​​​For Psychiatric Emergencies please call 988

Mental Health Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program [AOT]

Department of Health Services

Director: Dr. Ryan Quist, Ph.D

Division: Forensic Behavioral Health

Phone: 916-875-6508

If you have any questions or need assistance completing a referral, please call us.  


"There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t." — John Green

FLYER AOT Quarterly Meetings.pdf

What Is Assisted Outpatient Treatment [AOT]

The Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program (AOT) also known as “Laura's Law" permits the use of the courts and behavioral health systems, including substance use prevention and treatment (SUPT), to address the needs of individuals who have been unable to or have not engaged with community mental health treatment programs without intensive engagement and support options.  Full text of the Statute is located here:  Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program (AOT)

This program is for individuals with a history of severe mental health concerns, history of repeated hospitalizations and/or incarcerations related to untreated or undertreated mental illness, and/or a history of violent behaviors to self or others. The AOT law is codified in the Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 5346.  

Sac County AOT Referral Form.pdf                                                                                              INSTRUCTIONS FOR AOT REFERRAL FORM-FINAL.pdf

Participant Workflow.pdf                                                                                                               Court Workflow.pdf        

AOT Brochure 2023.pdf                                                                                                             Assisted outpatient treatment FLYER 2023.pdf  ​       

Common Terms 2.2023.pdf ​                                                                                                     AOT Community Presenta​tion RECORDED.pdf

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Presentation

Goal of the AOT Program:

AOT an intensive outpatient recovery oriented, strengths based, client centered treatment program that will assist individuals in reducing the symptoms of mental illness or substance use disorders (or both), prevent mental health crisis, reduce the number of hospitalizations/incarcerations due to untreated mental health issues, and provide ongoing support through a step down process as symptoms subside.

The overarching goal of the AOT program is to connect referred persons to the least restrictive, high intensity, community based full service partnership program utilizing a “whatever it takes" model of service provision.   ​

AOT Eligibility Criteria (WIC 5346)​

1)  The person is 18 years of age or older

2)  The person is suffering from a mental illness as defined in paragraphs (2) and (3) of Subdivision (b) of WIC Section 5600.3

        a.   Schizophrenia

        b.   Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

        c.   Bipolar Disorder

        d.   Schizoaffective Disorder

        e.   Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent

        f.    Borderline Personality Disorder

  3)  There has been a clinical determination that in view of the person's treatment history and current behavior, at least one of the following is true:

        a.   The person is unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision and the person's condition is substantially deteriorating.

        b.   The person is in need of assisted outpatient treatment in order to prevent a relapse or deterioration that would be likely to result in grave disability or                serious harm to the person or to others, as defined in WIC Section 5150.

  4)  The person has a history of a lack of compliance with treatment for the person's mental illness, in that at least one of the following is true:

        a.   The person's mental illness has, at least twice within the last 36 months, been a substantial factor in necessitating hospitalization, or receipt of                          services in a forensic or other mental health unit of a state correctional facility or local correctional facility, not including any period during which the                  person was hospitalized or incarcerated immediately preceding the filing of the petition.   

        b.   The person's mental illness has resulted in one or more acts of serious and violent behavior toward themselves or another, or threats, or attempts to                cause serious physical harm to themselves or another within the last 48 months, not including any period in which the person was hospitalized or                     incarcerated immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

  5)  The person has been offered an opportunity to participate in a treatment plan by the director of the local mental health department, or the director's                designee, provided the treatment plan includes all of the services descried in WIC Section 5348, and the person continues to fail to engage in                    treatment.

  6)  Participation in the assisted outpatient treatment program would be the least restrictive placement necessary to ensure the person's recovery and                    stability. 

  7)  It is likely that the person will benefit from the assisted outpatient treatment program.

"You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle."                                                                                                    — Julian Seifter

Who Can Submit A Referral? WIC 5346 (a)

  • A person 18 years of age or older with whom the person who is subject of the petition resides.
  • A person who is the parent, spouse, or sibling or child 18 years of age or older of the person who is subject of the petition.
  • Director of a treating facility where the individual resides.
  • Director of the hospital where the person is hospitalized.
  • Treating or supervising mental health provider;
  • Probation or parole or peace officer.
  • Judge/Court

How do I submit a referral?

Please complete this referral form​ and submit via email at or call the AOT team at 916-875-6508 to assist you in completing the referral form.

Program Objectives:

  • Strengths based, recovery oriented,trauma informed, and client centered in all of our engagement activities.
  • Promote Stability in the community in the least restrictive clinically appropriate settings with community supports. 
  • Further client self-determiniation in the most effective level of service intensity and community integration as appropriate. 
  • Promote and optimize community functioning.
  • Elevate and improve client driven recovery and culturally responsive approaches.
  • Advance and increase timely access to appropriate linages and coordination of services and benefits.
  • Reduce emergency room visits, psychiatric hospitalizations, admissions to long term facilities, arrests, incarcerations, and homelessness due to untreated or undertreated mental illness.


Additional Resources: [links to related pages]

Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic - Walk-in mental health clinic for any individual experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. Call (916) 520-2460 for latest hours and to walk-in visit 2130 Stockton Boulevard, Building 300, Sacramento, CA 95817. Click here for more information.​

Mental Health Access Team - Access and linkage to our outpatient programs for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who meet eligibility criteria. Call (916) 875-1055 or submit an online referral here .    ​

Substance Use Disorder and Youth System of Care - Access and linkage to substance use treatment programs for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who meet eligibility criteria and transitional housing/sober living programs. Call (916) 874-9754 or send an email to .​ Click here​ for more information. 

Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) - Outreach and engagement providing mental health and substance use screening, linkage and assessments in homeless shelters and encampments. Call (916) 875-1720 or send a secured  email to  to make a referral. Click here​ for more information.

Community Support Team - Community based non-urgent mental health screenings, supports, and linkage to resources for any individual. Call (916) 874-6015. Click here for more information.

CORE Community Wellness Centers - 10 drop in centers where individuals can access a full array of peer services and supports including assistance with linkage to specialty mental health services. Click here  for locations and more information.​

Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCST)--MCST Brochure

Peer Support Specialist Information​​

Community Input Sessions [2021]

The County of Sacramento engaged community members to hear input on whether to implement or opt out of Laura’s Law/Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). Behavioral Health Services virtually hosted informational sessions on March 15, March 16, and April 19, 2021 and solicited community input via a brief survey. The input received is compiled in this report:  Community Input on Laura’s Law/Assisted Outpatient Treatment.​​

For more information about Laura's Law/AOT, please see the second page of the flyers below, and this recording of an informational event on April 19, 2021: Laura's Law/AOT Community Input event recording​. The event featured perspectives of consumers, family members, and a provider currently implementing AOT.

Laura's Law / Assisted Outpatient Treatment Community Input Flyers