Mental Health & Substance
Abuse Patients’ Rights
Consumer Center for Health Education
and Advocacy Behavioral Health Unit
We are the County-designated Patients’ Rights advocate for non-residential and outpatient behavioral health services.
We are your advocate for any problems you have with non-residential and outpatient mental health and substance abuse disorder 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 help with questions or problems with mental health and substance abuse disorder outpatient and non-residential services.
- We help you in getting the right medication or needed care.
- We help file your Medi-Cal appeal when the County Mental Health Plan limits, stops, or denies a service.
- We work on your behalf to make sure your physical and behavioral health services are being coordinated by your providers and plan.
We believe in making the behavioral health system better. We do this by being your voice of advocacy in the community. We coordinate with other advocates to change policies and practices that create barriers for people with psychiatric disabilities and/or substance abuse disorders. We also work with community agencies to see that patients’ rights information is posted and always available.
How To Get Help
Call to speak to our intake team, Monday through Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Call 1-877-734-3258 | TTY 1-800-735-2929
Or send an email using the contact form here.
In-person: Visit our Midtown San Diego Office Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm at 1764 San Diego Ave, Suite 100, 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.
You may also complete a County Grievance/Appeal Form. Forms are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, Farsi, and Vietnamese. You can drop off your form at our Midtown San Diego Office, fax it to us at 619-471-2782, or mail it to us:
Attention: Behavioral Health Team, 1764 San Diego Avenue, Suite 100, San Diego CA 92110.
We argue for patients’ rights. By taking your complaints about providers or managed care plans, together we can improve the behavioral 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 non-residential and outpatient behavioral 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 behavioral 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 psychiatric challenges and/or substance abuse disorders. We go to settings such as clubhouses, outpatient mental health clinics, case management programs, recovery centers, and Full Service Partnership programs such as ACT and IMPACT. We serve people of all ages. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
Self Help Resources
- We do not sue doctors or other health care professionals. Contact the San Diego County Bar Association Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS) at 1-800-464-1529 for referral to a private attorney.
- We do not represent behavioral health patients in hospitals or other residential treatment facilities – these issues are handled by the JFS Patient Advocacy Program at 1-800-479-2233.
- You can get free, confidential counseling and referrals for mental health and/or alcohol and drug needs. Clinicians can
take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the County of San Diego Access and Crisis Line – the Access and Crisis Line can be reached by phone at 888-724-7240 or online: www.optumhealthsandiego.com
Request a Presentation
Our staff give presentations on a variety of issues to community groups, service providers, and others in low-income communities.
Volunteer to Help
We can always use volunteer assistance. Please contact our pro bono team for opportunities!
To review our Privacy Notice regarding how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information, please click here.
Please contact us if you need this information translated into your primary language, large font, Braille, and/or require any other accommodation requests.