Complaint/Grievance Process

Complaint/Grievance Process

What if there is a problem with mental health services?

If you or a friend or family member has a problem, we hope you will express your concerns. Here's how:

  • Start by talking to your doctor, therapist, or staff at the program. Most problems are fairly easily resolved.
  • If you are not comfortable dealing with program staff, or your attempt doesn't work, you may want to file a complaint or grievance.

FOR CBH Members: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services:

Complaints and Grievances

If you are unhappy with any of your services, please call CBH at 888-545-2600 and speak with your Member Services Representative. Alternatively, you can write CBH at:

CBH

    801 Market St., 7th Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Attn: Provider Network Operations

Get detailed information on how to file a complaint or grievance.

For Individuals Receiving Services Funded by the County Office of Mental Health:

The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services wants to be sure that all consumers who use mental health services are treated fairly and that agencies are responsive to consumers' needs.

Each agency has its own policies and procedures regarding fair treatment of consumers and how to deal with their concerns or complaints. You should be given the agency's specific information and an opportunity to discuss any problems with a staff person. Please feel free to ask questions or present your concerns; you are entitled to a response. If you are not satisfied with the agency's response, you have the right to file a complaint.

MAKING A COMPLAINT

When should I make a complaint?

If you believe you have been treated unfairly by anyone, speak up!

What will happen if I make a complaint?

People will ask you to give details about what happened, when it happened, where it took place, and who was involved. You should not be threatened, punished, or forced to leave a program just because you make a complaint. Philadelphia community mental health programs are not permitted to mistreat consumers or terminate services because someone speaks up about a problem.

What the agency will do about the situation depends on what the problem is, but they are required to let you know promptly what they will do to address the situation and try to prevent it from happening again.

Who can help me make a complaint?

You may ask a family member, friend, advocate, case manager, or anyone else you choose to help you. If you feel you need the assistance of an advocate, there may be a Consumer Advocate or advocacy group at your agency.

Philadelphia SHARE has advocacy groups that meet weekly at each of its Drop-In Centers and its central office. Call Philadelphia SHARE (800-688-4226, ext. 235 or 215-751-1800) for information about the nearest advocacy or self-help group, or find out if your agency has its own group by asking for information at the receptionist's desk.

The Consumer Satisfaction Team (CST) visits your program periodically to ask if you are satisfied with the services you are receiving. You might want to talk to a member of the team at that time, or telephone the team if you have a complaint. The CST can either assist you or refer you to the person or people who would be most helpful in resolving your problem.

How do I make a complaint?

If you feel comfortable, tell the person you think has treated you unfairly that you have a complaint. Explain to him or her what you think was wrong and what you want to change. If you feel you cannot discuss the issue with this person, you may want to speak to his or her immediate supervisor instead.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, ask for the agency's problem resolution or grievance procedure. If this process is not satisfactory, you may use the OMH Complaint form. View or download a copy of this form.

    Manager, Quality Improvement
    City of Philadelphia
    Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
    Division of Mental Health Services
    1101 Market St., 7th Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19107-2907

Fill out (or have someone help you fill out) Section 1 of this Complaint Form. Give it to the Program Supervisor and keep a copy for your records. You may want to tell your case manager or therapist (if you have one) about the incident, as well. The Supervisor is required to respond to your complaint in writing, on the Complaint Form, within seven days.

Fill out (or have someone help you fill out) Section 2 of the Complaint Form. If you are satisfied with the Supervisor's response, return it to him or her. If you are not satisfied, give the form to the agency's Mental Health Director or Executive Director for his or her response. Keep a copy for your records. This person is also required to respond to you, on the Complaint Form, within seven days. It is hoped that, as a result of this process, you will be able to resolve the problem with the agency where it took place.

What happens if I cannot resolve my problem within the agency?

Fill out (or have someone help you fill out) Section 3 on the back of the Complaint Form. If you are satisfied with the Executive or Mental Health Director's response, please return the form to that person. If you are still not satisfied, and you feel that the situation will not improve without outside intervention, you may send the form to the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) in care of the Manager, Quality Improvement at the address listed in the preceding section.

The DBHIDS staff will investigate by asking questions of the people involved and anyone else who has knowledge of the situation, and will try to resolve the problem. Someone from the DBHIDS will respond to your complaint, on the Complaint Form, within seven days. If you are satisfied with the response, please fill out Section 4 of the form and return it to the same address. (Above.)

What happens if the DBHIDS cannot help me resolve my problem?

If you are not satisfied with the DBHIDS response, you can appeal to the Mental Health Human Rights Committee. The Human Rights Committee is a group of citizens appointed by the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Advisory Board to protect the rights of people receiving mental health services. The majority of committee members are consumers of mental health services.

How do I appeal to the Human Rights Committee?

You can appeal to the Human Rights Committee by filling out (or having someone help you fill out) Section 4 of your Complaint Form and sending it to the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee.

The address is:

    Human Rights Committee Chairperson
    c/o Philadelphia DBHIDS
    Division of Mental Health Services
    1101 Market St., 7th Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19107-2907

What happens when I file an appeal?

The Human Rights Committee will investigate by asking questions of everyone involved in the complaint, as well as anyone else who has additional information about the situation. You will be invited to meet with the Committee with 30 days. You may ask a family member, a friend, an advocate, or anyone else you choose to accompany you and speak on your behalf. The person or people you are accusing of violating your rights may also be invited to attend the meeting.

The committee will make a decision following the meeting. The findings and recommendations of the Human Rights Committee will be sent in writing to the Deputy Commissioner for The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, who is the highest authority in the Philadelphia community mental health system, within 3 working days. A copy of the Committee's findings and recommendations will also be sent to you and to the person or people accused of violating your rights.

What action will be taken?

Within 30 days, the Deputy Commissioner for The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services will send the Human Rights Committee a written report stating what actions have been taken in response to the committee's recommendations. Copies of this report will also be sent to you and to all other individuals involved in the complaint

 
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