patient advocacy program
The Patient Advocacy Program 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. Click here to learn more about the Patient Advocacy Team and our procedures.
Represent patients in inpatient psychiatric hospitals. When a patient is placed on an involuntary 14-day hold, s/he is entitled to representation at a certification review hearing to determine if the hold meets the standard of probable cause or if the patient should be released from the hold. Patient Rights Advocates travel to psychiatric hospitals throughout San Diego County and represent the wishes of patients at certification review hearings, also known as probable cause hearings.
Respond to inpatient psychiatric grievances and complaints. Patient Rights Advocates investigate and respond to grievances and complaints about inpatient behavioral health services. The complaints can come from patients, family, friends, and even staff.
Provide residential advocacy. Patient Rights Advocates also provide advocacy to residents in, and investigate grievances and complaints about, Board and Care facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Alpine Special Treatment Center (Alpine), Crestwood San Diego and Chula Vista, and the Crisis Houses in San Diego County.
Respond to inmate mental health concerns. Patient Rights Advocates provide support and a voice for male and female inmates receiving behavioral health services in the County jail system by providing representation at certification review hearings and investigating grievances.
Advocate for minors' rights. Patient 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, Independent Clinical Reviews, and Roger S. Hearings.
Provide trainings. The Patient Advocacy Program provides trainings and in-services on patient/resident rights to patients in inpatient psychiatric units; residents in Board and Care facilities, SNFs, Alpine and Crestwood San Diego and Chula Vista; providers, Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, and the behavioral health community. Advocates are also certified to provide CEUs for behavioral health professionals, nurses and Board and Care Administrators.
The Patient Advocacy Program works to improve the mental health system by:
Patient Advocates work throughout the county advocating for the rights of mentally ill individuals at psychiatric hospitals, Board and Care Facilities, legal hearings, and more. Our Patient Advocates work to ensure patients are being treated with respect and their rights are being observed.
For more information about the Patient Advocacy program, call (800) 479-2233 or email.