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Mental Health Clinic
Client Rights

     
 

NOTICE OF CLIENT’S RIGHTS

We believe that every person is entitled to the dignity of his or her own individuality. Ideally s/he should grow into a whole person, through processes of

  • finding pride and peace of mind;

  • earning understanding and respect from others; and

  • building a secure sense of belonging in family and community.

The same tasks continue throughout adult life. The mental health role is to help adults and children with problems of personal growth. Our staff seeks to provide a caring and helpful environment so you can try to make better sense of your problems.

We will team up with you to focus your thinking, to own your emotions and to face the decisions you need to make. Your therapist will be like a temporary coach.

When you seek to work with us, IT IS YOUR RIGHT:

  • To a plan of treatment worked out with you, for you and about your specific needs.

  • To have a full explanation of all services offered.

  • To raise questions or objections to parts of the treatment plan.

  • To withdraw from treatment voluntarily,

    • unless legally mandated to participate by a court or a court appointed conservator;

    • unless you are a child and required to participate by your parent or guardian;

    • unless your state of mind or conduct is considered dangerous to yourself or others.

  • To have privacy and the protection of confidentiality according to mental hygiene law, although:

    • if you present a danger or threat to yourself or someone else, we would be obliged to contact a close relative or the police if appropriate;

    • if we became aware of probable child abuse, we would be under a legal  obligation to contact the Child Abuse Hotline in Albany;

    • if your clinic record is relevant to a matter which involves the welfare of a child before the Family Court, the Court can sometimes  subpoena information.

  • To receive service in a manner which does not discriminate with respect to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, handicap, or multiple diagnoses (including HIV and AIDS).

  • To file and pursue a grievance if you feel your rights have been violated or that you have suffered disrespect or abuse by clinic staff. See procedure below.**

  • To seek access to your clinical record. Your therapist will assist you with the procedure. See below.*

Also in working with us, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY,

  • To keep the appointments you make;

  • To notify us in advance when you cannot keep an appointment;

  • To pay fees appropriate to your financial resources;

    • We will need information concerning your medical insurance including signed forms;

    • We will need accurate information concerning your finances, including sources and amounts of income;

  • To provide us with written releases to secure medical information concerning other treatment you receive (or have received) which may effect your treatment and welfare.

  • To respect prohibitions against smoking and any weapons within clinic facilities.
    ______
    *According to Section 33.16 of Mental Hygiene Law, you are allowed to have access to your own clinical record. You are encouraged to discuss the contents of the record with your therapist. If you want a copy of materials from your record or you want to inspect your record, you must complete a written request form. Your therapist or office staff can provide you with the form. 

    If the patient is a child, the parent (or guardian) who authorized the treatment can make the request (as can the committee of an incompetent adult.) 

    Access will be granted within 10 working days, unless doing so would cause you or others some substantial or identifiable harm. When access is denied, fully or partially, you may appeal to the Chairperson, Clinical Records Access Review Committee, New York State Office of Mental Health, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12229. 

    When access is granted a reproduction fee of .75 per page will be charged, payable in advance, unless you can prove financial hardship to the Director.

    **If you have a grievance, we hope you will not hesitate to speak with the staff involved in your treatment. If the issue is not then resolved, you may write your grievance, question, complaint, or objection to the Mental Health Clinic Complaint Officer who will respond within 10 working days of the date of your letter.

    If you still feel your issues have not been addressed adequately, you can contact one or more of the following:

    NYS Commission on Quality Care for the Mentally Disabled
    401 State Street
    Schnectady, NY 12305
    Telephone: (518) 381-7102

    Consumer Complaint Hotline
    Telephone: 1-800-624-4143

    New York State Office of Mental Health
    44 Holland Avenue
    Albany, NY 12229
    Telephone: 1-800-597-8481
    En Espanol: 1-800-210-6456
    TDD: 1-800-597-9810

    Alliance for the Mentally Ill of New York State
    260 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12210
    Telephone: (518) 462-2000

    Local Group:
    Alliance for the Mentally Ill
    President – Rina Reba
    1723 Upper Meeker Hollow Road
    Roxbury, NY 12474
    Telephone: (607) 326-4797

     
     
   
   
     
 

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