This section provides information about mental health rights and recovery resources for children and adults receiving or seeking mental health services in Virginia.
- Virginia Continues to Unnecessarily Hospitalize Over 200 Virginians (March, 2022)
- Deadliest Year at State Mental Health Facilities. (September 2018)
- Office of the Inspector General (OSIG): Behavioral Health and Developmental Services – The Office of the Inspector General conducts annual reviews of all major state psychiatric facilities and monitors, reviews, and investigates community providers across the state. They also investigate specific complaints of abuse, neglect, or inadequate care.
- DBHDS: Office of Human Rights – The Office of Human Rights monitors compliance with the human rights regulations in all facilities and programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health (DBHDS). They promote the basic precepts of human dignity and advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities in Virginia’s service delivery systems.
- Virginia Department of Veterans Services: Virginia Veteran and Family Support – The Virginia Veteran & Family Support Program (VVFS) is operated statewide and provides outreach, connection and support to veterans and their families to address challenges such as post-traumatic stress and other mental health concerns as well as traumatic brain injuries and physical injuries.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Virginia – Virginia’s NAMI chapter provides grassroots self-help through mutual support, education and advocacy.
- Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit mental health organization working with recovery, wellness and healing as the foundational tenets behind our educational peer-run programs.
- Mental Health America (MHA) – founded in 1909 – is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.
- Virginia Association of Community Service Boards – Representing Virginia’s Community Services Boards and Behavioral Health Authority that provide the premier behavioral health and developmental disability services in Virginia’s Communities.
- VOCAL is Virginia’s statewide network of people who embrace their mental health challenges and work together to heal communities.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – National advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.
PAIMI Advisory Council
Mental Health Advocacy
The PAIMI Advisory Council provides guidance and input about the needs of the mental health community in Virginia. Click here for more information about the PAIMI Council.
Your Rights Regarding the Use of Seclusion & Restraint
As a patient in a state psychiatric hospital, you have the right to be free from any unnecessary use of seclusion and restraint. This right is guaranteed under state and federal law, as well as the policies of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) and its Human Rights Regulations. Learn about your rights regarding the use of Seclusion and Restraint.
Quick Guide to Mental Health Crisis Resources
Quick Guide to Human Rights Process
If you disagree with a complaint resolution, investigation finding, or other appealable action, you may file an appeal with the Local Human Rights Committee (LHRC).
Your Right to Refuse Medication in State Hospitals
As a person receiving services in a state psychiatric hospital, you have the right to refuse medication in most cases. There are some important exceptions to this right, though. Read on to learn more about your rights!
It’s hard to know who can help in a time of crisis. For Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), the system is especially fragmented. Below, find information on dLCV’s online self-advocacy complaint and other oversight and regulatory entities.
Please read the Complaint Contacts to know who to complain to if you have a problem with services. This includes problems with the regional REACH programs and other crisis services in Virginia.
Are you inappropriately institutionalized? Are you at risk of institutionalization?
If so, submit a self-advocacy complaint to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Commissioner. This self-advocacy complaint is for people with I/DD who are at risk of institutionalization or are inappropriately institutionalized. Written Complaint Form.
Other Complaint Processes & Forms
Who Else Can I Complain To?
Critical information about Complaint Contacts.
If you or someone you care about has been abused, neglected, or exploited, contact Adult Protective Services at 1-888-832-3858 or Child Protective Services at 1-800-552-7096 regardless of the setting in which the abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred. If you or someone you support is in immediate danger, call 911.
REACH/Children’s Crisis Services Complaint Forms
- DBHDS Office of Human Rights Website
- DBHDS Office of Human Rights Complaint Form
- DBHDS Office of Licensing Website
- DBHDS Office of Licensing Complaint Form
- Medicaid Fraud Unit Website and Complaints
- Office of the State Inspector General Website and Complaints
- U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Website
- U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Complaint Form
- Virginia Department of Health, Office of Licensure and Certification Website
- Virginia Department of Health Professions Website
- Virginia Department of Health Professions Complaint Form
- Virginia Department of Social Services Website
- Virginia Department of Social Services Complaint Form
All About Self-Advocacy!
Welcome to another episode of Rights Here, Rights Now! This week we are talking once again to Disability Rights Advocate, Rhonda Thissen, and she is teaching us all about self-advocacy. The General Assembly is in full swing in Virginia and there are many ways to get involved and be a self-advocate. Listen in for tips and tricks, as well as do’s and don’t all about self-advocacy!
All About the Civil Commitment Process in Virginia
This episode is a bit of a sensitive one, we are talking all about the civil commitment process in Virginia. We are discussing Temporary Detention Order (TDO) and Emergency Custody Orders (ECO). These processes can be confusing to understand so we sit down with Ren, an advocate here, to explain the process and how you or others can advocate throughout the process.
The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services DBHDS Crisis Services list. This is a list of crisis services across the state of Virginia. They are broken down by region.
Every area in Virginia has a Community Services Board that can connect folks with services in their area.
All About the PAIMI Advisory Council
This week we were joined by PAIMI Advisory Council Chair, Tina Stelling. Tina was so gracious to share with us all about what the PAIMI Advisory Council is, how it has impacted her life, and how YOU can become a member. Find out more online at www.dlcv.org/advisory-councils.
An Interview with the Office of Human Rights
Join us today for a special episode of Rights Here, Rights Now! We have the pleasure of interviewing Deb Lochart and Taneika Goldman from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Office of Human Rights. Deb and Taneika share with us who is the Office of Human Rights, who they serve, what they do, and how you can utilize their resources. You can find out more at www.dbhds.gov.
- DBHDS: Office of Human Rights – The Office of Human Rights monitors compliance with the human rights regulations in all facilities and programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health (DBHDS). They promote the basic precepts of human dignity and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities in Virginia’s service delivery systems.