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.

Complaints:

A complaint is an informal, verbal or written expression of concern with your mental health service. You can have a friend or family member help you with this process. Complaints can be filed:

  • By phone: Call Jewish Family Services at 800-479-2233 for help with complaints about inpatient services or the Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy at 877-734-3258 for complaints about all other mental health services.
  • In writing: Use the white complaint and grievance form available in the waiting room of your program or doctor's office.

Grievances:

A grievance is a formal procedure for resolving a problem. Grievances must be filed in writing and you can have someone help you with this process. To file a written grievance call:

  • Jewish Family Services at 800-479-2233 for help with grievances about inpatient services.
  • The Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy at 877-734-3258 for grievances about all other mental health services.

Other ways to resolve issues:

  • You have the right to get a second opinion and/or to request a new doctor or therapy group. Call the Access and Crisis Line 888-724-7240 and ask for a referral or a second opinion about medication or treatment. You don't have to file a complaint or grievance to do this.
  • If you are a Medi-Cal beneficiary, you have an additional right to request a State Fair Hearing within 90 days of notification of a decision to deny or change your services, or you can do this anytime before, during, or within 90 days of completing the County complaint and grievance process. You do not have to use the County process to request a State Fair Hearing. If you want to ask for a hearing, call 800-952-8349.

Customer Feedback

San Diego County Mental Health Services (SDCMHS) has an ongoing interest in improving the quality of its services for clients and families. To that end, the SDCMHS is always interested in hearing from our customers about any quality improvement issues. The SDCMHS Quality Review Council wants to make sure that our clients and families know that there are several meetings where quality improvement concerns can be heard. Click here for a list of meetings.

 
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