Patients’ Rights Advocacy Services was created in response to California legislation requiring each county mental health director to appoint patient rights advocates to protect and further the Constitutional and statutory rights of people receiving mental health services.
MHS Orange County Patients’ Rights Advocacy Services
Represent Patients in Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitals Patients’ Rights Advocates travel to psychiatric hospitals throughout Orange County and represent patients who are involuntarily detained. The Advocate prepares patients for their certification review hearings, also known as probable cause hearing. The hearings are held to determine if the treatment facility has sufficient cause to hold the patient without their consent.
Respond to Psychiatric Grievances and Complaints Patients’ Rights Advocates investigate and respond to grievances and complaints about inpatient and outpatient mental health services. The complaints can come from patients, family, friends, and even staff. Advocates also provide other advocacy and mediation services to patients involving outpatient providers.
Provide Residential Advocacy Patients’ Rights Advocates, along with the State of California Community Care Licensing and the Ombudsman, investigate complaints about licensed board and cares and unlicensed residential facilities where consumers live. They also provide training on residential law and rights to consumers, family and providers.
Respond to Inmate Mental Health Concerns Patients’ Rights Advocates provide support and a voice for inmates receiving mental health services in the County jail by investigating and responding to inmates’ mental health complaints and concerns. Advocates also educate Jail Mental Health staff on patients’ rights issues and provide representation at certification review hearings.
Advocate for Minors' Rights Patients’ Rights Advocates specialize in minors' rights and parental rights/responsibilities. Advocates investigate minors' complaints, monitor facilities providing services to minors to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, and represent minors at certification review hearings and Independent Clinical Reviews.
Provide Trainings Patients’ Rights Advocates provides trainings and in-services on patient/resident rights to patients in inpatient psychiatric units; outpatient mental health services, residents in Board and Care facilities and the mental health community. Advocates are also certified to provide CEUs for mental health professionals and Board and Care Administrators.
System Advocacy Patients’ Rights Advocates monitor mental health facilities for compliance with patients’ rights laws. The advocates review and comment on policies and practices that impact recipients of mental health services. They coordinate with other advocates for system reform and analyze state and federal legislation, along with regulatory developments.
Community Outreach Patients’ Rights Advocates provide education and reach out to mental health consumers to improve their ability to advocate for themselves and represent consumers’ interest in public forums.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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