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Client Rights

All clients have the right to:

  • Treatment in accordance with the Florida Mental Health Act.
  • Treatment by staff with respect.
  • Freedom from abuse, financial or other exploitation, retaliation, humiliation, or neglect.
  • Treatment without regard to sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, religion, spiritual beliefs, handicaps, language or economic status.
  • Reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Treatment that is timely, ethical, suited to individual needs; promotes dignity, independence, self-esteem, and quality of life.
  • The least restrictive treatment environment consistent with their needs.
  • Assignment of a primary provider.
  • Participation in treatment and discharge planning, as well as review of the treatment plan prior to treatment.
  • Access to information pertinent to the client in sufficient time to assist his or her decision making.
  • Informed consent, refusal, or expression of choice regarding: service delivery; release of information; concurrent services; composition of the service delivery team; unusual or high risk medication, if applicable; involvement in research projects, if applicable; or video or audio taping or photography, if applicable.
  • The following information:
    • Explanation of the purpose of treatment to be provided and an estimated length of service.
    • Explanation of medication that is prescribed by Child Guidance Center medical staff, including side effects and possible results of long term use.
  • Confidentiality as outlined in the “Notice of Privacy Practices”.
  • Accessibility of their clinical record as outlined in the “Notice of Privacy Practices”.
  • Reasonable privacy consistent with the need for safety.
  • Access or referral to legal entities for appropriate representation, self-help support services, and/or advocacy services.
  • Other legal rights.
  • Adherence to research guidelines and ethics when clients are involved, if applicable.
  • An orientation to the rights and responsibilities of the client and the clients’ family.

In addition, all clients have the right to:

  • File a grievance, including perceived violation of client rights, dissatisfaction with treatment, or discrimination complaint; appeal denial or exclusion from a program or failure to take into account the client’s choice of service; report alleged abuse.
  • Investigation and resolution of grievances/conflict in care decisions without retaliation or loss of service.

Clients may file grievances through the following methods:

  • Clients are provided access to a phone at any time to contact the Florida Abuse Hotline.
  • Client Grievance Forms and pre-addressed envelopes are available in our waiting rooms or from individual providers. Completed Client Grievance Forms are processed by the Chief Programs Officer.
  • Clients/families wishing to talk to staff directly may contact the Program Director; Stacy D. Sechrist, LCSW, Chief Programs Officer at 904-448-4700x222; or Theresa Rulien, Ph.D., President/CEO at 904-448-4700x110. Discrimination complaints may be directed to Payal Patel, MA, Human Resources Director and Title VI Coordinator, at 904-448-4700x480.
  • Clients may also contact the below agencies regarding rights as well as other concerns:

Legal Rights:

  • Legal Aid 904-232-2090
  • Mental Health America 904-730-8291

Florida Abuse Hotline:

  • Phone: 800-962-2873
  • Florida Relay 711
  • TTY: 800-453-5145

Discrimination Complaints

  • Department of Children and Families, Office of Civil Rights
    • 1317 Winewood Blvd., Bldg 1, Rm 110
    • Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700
    • Phone: 850-487-1901
    • TDD: 850-922-9220
  • U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights
    • Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 16T70
    • 61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
    • Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
    • Phone: 800-368-1019
    • TDD: 800-537-7697

Additional Resources

  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Phone: 800-514-0301
    • TTY 800-514-0383
  • Disability Rights Florida
    • Phone: 800-342-0823
    • TDD 800-346-4127
  • Human Rights Commission
    • Phone: 904-630-4911
    • TTY 904-630-4125

Updated January 18, 2017