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Clients' Rights & Advocacy

Published on: 10/21/2014 4:28 PM

Santa Clara County Mental Health Department has a strong client' rights and advocacy program. This is to assure that mentally ill persons who have been certified for 14 days of intensive treatment are provided information about the commitment process, about their rights to an administrative hearing or a judicial review by writ of habeas corpus and their right to counsel in such judicial review, including the right to court-appointed counsel.

The Department contracts with Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP), a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, to perform these functions. The County Patients' Rights Advocate also monitor Santa Clara County inpatient facilities for compliance with LPS commitment process.

To learn more, read the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley’s Mental Health Advocacy Program (MHAP) brochure.

Contact Information:
Mental Health Advocacy Project
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
152 North Third Street, 3rd Floor
San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: 1 (408) 294-9730
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 248-MHAP (6427)
Fax: (408) 293-0106


As a client of Santa Clara County's Department of Behavioral Services, you have the right to:
  • Be treated with respect by all behavioral health staff.
  • Receive services in a safe environment.
  • Receive culturally competent services.
  • Give informed consent regarding treatment, medication and side effects.
  • Understand and participate in the behavioral health treatment process.
  • Receive confidential care and record-keeping.
  • Request to change psychiatrist, service provider, clinician and/or get a second opinion.
  • Receive a timely response to problems or concerns about treatment.
  • Have access to medical records.
  • Register a complaint and/or file a grievance regarding services.
  • File a request for a State Fair Hearing when a Notice of Action is received stating that services are being denied, changed or terminated.
  • Authorize a person to act on your behalf during the Complaint, Formal Grievance or State Fair Hearing process.
  • Submit a complaint and/or file a grievance without experiencing any negative repercussions.

Rights for Individuals in Mental Health Facilities: Admitted Under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act Handbook