DSHS - Client Rights
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Client Rights

Your Rights as a Person Receiving Public Mental Health Services

• To be treated with respect and dignity
• To have your privacy protected
• To help develop a plan of care with services to meet your needs
• To participate in decisions regarding your mental health care
• To receive services in a barrier-free location (accessible)
• To request information about names, location, phones, and languages for local agencies
• To receive the amount and duration of services you need
• To request information about the structure and operation of the RSN
• To services within two hours for emergent care and 24 hours for urgent care
• To be free from use of seclusion or restraints
• To receive age and culturally appropriate services
• To be provided a certified interpreter and translated material at no cost to you
• To understand available treatment options and alternatives
• To refuse any proposed treatment
• To receive care that does not discriminate against you (e.g. age, race, type of illness)
• To be free of any sexual exploitation or harassment
• To receive an explanation of all medications prescribed and possible side effects
• To make an advance directive that states your choices and preferences for mental health care
• To receive quality services which are medically necessary
• To have a second opinion from a mental health professional
• To file a grievance with your agency or RSN
• To file a RSN appeal based on a RSN written Notice of Action
• To choose a mental health care provider or choose one for your child who is under 13 years of age
• To change mental health care providers during the first 30 days, and sometimes more often
• To file a request for an administrative (fair) hearing
• To request and receive a copy of your medical records and ask for changes. You will be told the cost for copying
• Be free from retaliation
• Request and receive policies and procedures of the RSN and Community Mental Health Agencies (CMHAs) as they pertain to your rights
You may also contact the Office of Civil Rights for more information at