Patient Rights

The California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) administers an Office of Human Rights to ensure that mental health laws, regulations, and policies for the rights of mental health service recipients are observed in State Hospitals and licensed health and community care facilities.

Californians with mental illnesses who are receiving treatment in mental health facilities, including those persons subject to involuntary commitment, are guaranteed numerous rights under State and federal laws, including the right to be free from abuse and neglect, the right to privacy, dignity, and humane care, and the right to basic procedural protections in the commitment process.

The Department of State Hospitals is required to enter a multi-year contract with a nonprofit organization, the Office of Patients' Rights (OPR), to provide investigative and advocacy services to persons with mental disabilities. The OPR also provides direct advocacy services in the state hospitals as well as training and technical assistance to all county patients' rights advocates.

New County Contact Information For Patients' Rights Issues

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is now the appropriate department for county mental health facilities, licensed under the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act, to contact with non-State Hospital issues. These issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Ordering LPS patients’ rights handbooks and posters;
  • Patients’ rights assistance for patients being treated in local mental health facilities;
  • Issues regarding electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) performed at the county level, and
  • Resolution of 3rd Level county patients’ rights appeals.

Contact Information for Patients’ Rights Handbooks and Posters (Ordering and Submission of Order Forms):

Department of Health Care Services
MS 2702
P.O. Box 997413
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413
Telephone: 916-322-7445
Download Link: Handbooks and Posters or Find a Publications Order Form

Contact Information for Patients’ Rights Questions and ECT Issues:

Mental Health Services Division Ombudsman:
Telephone: 1-800-896-4042
TTY Line: 1-800-896-2512

Contact Information for 3rd Level Patients’ Rights Appeals:

Ms. Alexa Malik
MHSD Policy Section
Telephone: 916-319-9743