What is a Patients' Rights Advocate?

A Patients' Rights Advocate is a state mandated position that empowers and assists recipients of mental health services to exercise their civil and human rights. Patients' Rights Advocates represent clients' interests as defined by the client, as long as those interests are within the bounds of the law and achievable within the advocate’s resources. Advocates do not determine what is "appropriate" for the client or in the client’s "best interest" rather, advocates advise clients about their options, the implications of those options, and assist the client to make informed choices. Additionally Patients' Rights Advocates monitor mental health facilities, services and programs for compliance with state and federal regulations and provide training and education about mental health law and patients’ rights to mental health providers.

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1. How do I file a grievance or complaint?
2. What exactly is Patients' Rights?
3. What is a Patients' Rights Advocate?