In Ohio’s mental health system, concerns or complaints are addressed through the grievance process. Grievance is an important right for people receiving mental health services. This process supports recovery and assures people are heard. It also empowers individuals receiving services to become self advocates and provide input to make the system better for everyone.
A grievance can be filed by the individual receiving the services, by an agency on behalf of the individual or by any other person involved. Concerns or complaints may be addressed either informally or formally.
ODMH encourages a first attempt to resolve all complaints and grievances be made at the lowest and most direct possible level, in the environment where the situation occurred.
Informally Resolving Grievances
People receiving public mental health services have the right to informally discuss their concerns and complaints. Explaining the situation to a staff member or a client rights officer often resolves the issue.
Formally Resolving Grievances
People receiving public mental health services also have the right to have their concerns and complaints heard formally through the written grievance process. In addition, they have the right to oral and written instructions for filing a grievance. Every mental health provider must have a person whose job it is to help file grievances. According to Ohio law, service providers must post the grievance procedure in a place where it is easily seen and make copies available to clients when requested.
Appealing a Decision
The decision about a grievance is called a resolution. If someone is not satisfied with the decision or answer, he or she can appeal. An appeal is a request for a review of the answer.
To appeal an agency’s answer to your grievance, contact your county’s Mental Health Board online or call 614-224-1111.
To appeal a hospital or mental health board's answer to your grievance, contact ODMH’s Community Supports and Clients Rights Office via e-mail (CAP) or call
(877) 275-6364 (family and consumers only), (614) 466-7228 (all others), TTY (888) 636-4889.
If you need assistance at any time during the grievance or appeal process, contact one of the agencies listed below. For agencies with no TTY/TDD number listed, call the Ohio Relay Service TTY at 711 or 800-750-0750.
Ohio Legal Rights Service (OLRS)
800-282-9181 / TTY 800-858-3542