Mental Health

Mental Health

We are the County-designated Patients’ Rights advocate for outpatient mental health services.

We are your Advocate for any problems you have with outpatient mental health services. 

We will investigate and resolve issues raised by you or your family.

We educate clients about their legal rights.

We work to resolve your grievances when you don't get the right care.

We handle special mental health services.  We help with such things as getting the right medication or just getting care.  We will file your Medi-Cal appeal when the County Mental Health Plan limits, stops or denies service.  You may find this out when you get a Medi-Cal Notice of Action.

We work with local health plans to make sure the care they provide is coordinated between physical and behavioral health.

We believe in making the mental health system better.  We do this by being your voice of advocacy in the community.  We coordinate with other mental health advocates to change policies and practices that hinder persons with psychiatric disabilities.  We also work with community agencies to see that patients’ rights information is posted and always available.

How to Get Help

It is easy to receive help.  Call us at 1-877-SD HEALTH (1-877-734-3258) TTY 1-877-735-2929 or stop by our Midtown San Diego Office at 1764 San Diego Ave, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92110.  Our office is a short walk from three bus stops and the Washington Street Trolley station.  Free street parking close by.

What We Do

We assist you with outpatient specialty mental health complaints, grievances, and appeals.  As the County-designated Title IX Patients’ Rights Advocate for outpatient services in San Diego County, we can take and act upon complaints from patients, family, friends, and even staff.  You can call us at 1-877-SD HEALTH (1-877-734-3258) or open this link that explains how we can help you.  You can also fill out a County Grievance/Appeal Form out.  Forms are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.  Once a form is filled out, you can drop it off at our Midtown San Diego Office or fax it to us (619-471-2782) or mail it to us: 

Attention:  Mental Health Team, 1764 San Diego Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego CA 92110.

We argue for patients’ rights. By taking your complaints about providers or managed care plans, together we can improve the mental health system. We know how unbelievably complicated health care is today.  We work with you and your family to make the best choices.

We assist staff.  Patients' rights must be posted in all County funded mental health outpatient programs in the following languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Arabic.  New patients must get info about their rights.  One is the right to contact the County designated patients’ rights programs.  We see that this is done.

We provide training and in-services.  We give trainings on the mental health grievance and appeal process, patients’ rights, and other topics.  We also comment on health plan policies and practices affecting our clients.

Our staff work throughout the county arguing for the rights of persons with mental health disorders.  We go to outpatient settings such as clubhouses, outpatient mental health clinics, case management programs, Scripps Mercy Hospital Behavioral Health Unit, (English,Spanish) and other supportive services. This includes the ACT and IMPACT programs. We serve people of all ages. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

We explain the Affordable Care Act and Covered California Health Exchange.  We demand access to health care coverage for all San Diegans.  This includes Mental Health Parity.  We push for services for those with no insurance.  We advocate for our County at the Covered California Health Exchange.  We help those with mental health disabilities and their family members:

  • Learn about their possible eligibility for Medi-Cal, including expanded Medi-Cal.
  • Learn about help for paying for health care coverage through tax credits or subsidies.  These can lower the cost of insurance through Covered California.
  • Review decisions of the County of San Diego or Covered California about eligibility for tax credits or subsidy.
  • Understand their rights, including how to appeal denials from the County of San Diego or Covered California.

Assistance for Related Problems

We may not be able to represent people who are unable to verify their alien status. We do not sue doctors or other health care professionals. 

We do not represent mental health patients in hospitals or other residential treatment facilities.  For these problems, call the JFS Patient Advocacy Program at 800-479-2233. 

You can get free, confidential counseling and referrals for mental health and/or alcohol and drug needs.  Master’s level clinicians can take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at the County of San Diego Access and Crisis Line (888-724-7240), or go to www.optumhealthsandiego.com.

What to Do for Your Appointment

  1. Forms can either be filled out before the appointment or at the time of the appointment.  Completing a written form is not necessary to get services.  Any other forms are available through the mail or in-person.
  2. Please be here on time.
  3. Directions. See information above or use this link.
  4. Who to contact if you are going to be late?  Best is to call the staff person who made the appointment or our general number 1-877-SD HEALTH (1-877-734-3258).

How to Get Information and Training

Call 1-877-SD HEALTH (1-877-734-3258) and ask for the Outreach Coordinator.  Staff participate in health fairs and provide trainings to the mental health community, community-based organizations and professionals, client groups and family support groups. We offer in-service trainings to those interested in learning about our services, the availability of health and human service programs, and changes in health care.

Get Involved

Volunteers - Interested in volunteering?  Contact us using this form.

Senior Mobile Technology Lab (SMTL) 

The Senior Mobile Technology Lab (SMTL) staff assists adults 60 years and older, their family members, and caregivers access online resources and health information.   Basic and/or advanced computer skill trainings are provided in labs and workshops. Consumer health and peer advocates travel to a variety of locations, not limited to senior centers, congregate meal sites, libraries, housing facilities, clubhouses, and other community sites. Click here.