Patients' Rights Advocacy Services

Humboldt County provides a patients' rights advocate to promote and represent clients' rights and interests. If you have a question or concern about a patient's rights, please call.

An advocate is available to help consumers

  • Access Services and Programs
  • Understand rights regarding
    • Involuntary Commitment
    • Conservatorships
    • Guardianships
  • File complaints.

The goal of the patients' rights advocate is to protect and further the constitutional and statutory rights of people receiving mental health services.

What is advocacy within a Mental Health facility? 

Advocacy works to:

  • Represent clients' expressed interests
  • Maintain the rights of individuals as identified in the Welfare & Institutions Code
  • Provide client representation during Certification Review Hearings
  • Provide training and education to clients and staff regarding patients’ rights
  • Act as a liaison to the Office of Patients' Rights
  • Conduct routine monitoring of local facilities.

Whose interests do advocates represent?

Advocates represent consumers' interests, as defined by the consumer, as long as those interests are within the bounds of the law and achievable within both the law and advocates' resources. Advocates assist adults and minors receiving mental health services voluntarily or involuntarily.

Patients’ Rights

Patients in mental health facilities are guaranteed the following rights:

Undeniable Rights

  • Right to least restrictive treatment services
  • Right to dignity, privacy and humane care
  • Right to be free from harm
  • Right to prompt medical treatment
  • Right to religious freedom
  • Right to education
  • Right to social interaction
  • Right to physical exercise and recreation
  • Right to be free from seclusion and restraint unless behavior becomes dangerous to the patient or others
  • Right to see and receive the services of an advocate.
The following rights can be denied with good cause. Good cause exists when exercising a right could cause injury, serious infringement to the rights of others, or serious damage to the facility, and there is no less restrictive alternative.

  • Right to wear one's own clothing
  • Right to personal possessions
  • Right to keep and spend money
  • Right to reasonable access to individual storage space
  • Right to see visitors each day
  • Right to reasonable access to the phone
  • Right to access letter-writing materials
  • Right to mail and receive unopened mail.