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COPE Crisis Hotline: 1-800-542-2673

Individual Rights

    Individuals who use the services of the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board (MPNNCSB) have certain rights that are described in the Rules and Regulations to Assure the Rights of Individuals Receiving Services from Providers Licensed, Funded, or Operated by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (hereafter called Community Regulations). If you have questions about your rights, you may call the MPNNCSB Quality Assurance Office at 804-758-5314.

    The following paragraphs provide a summary of your rights:

    MPNNCSB staff must inform you of your rights every 12 months while you are in the program. You may request and obtain a copy of these rights, described in the Community Regulations and the programís rules of conduct.

    You have the right to obtain services without discrimination on the basis of your race, national origin, sex, age, religion, handicap, or ability to pay. If you think you have been subject to discrimination in this program, you may contact the regional advocate, Mr. Reginald T. Daye at 757-253-7061 or any program employee. Service fees must consider your ability to pay.

    You have the right to have an individualized treatment plan developed for you and to participate in decisions about your treatment with the staff. The staff will review your ability to understand and make decisions about your treatment. If you cannot understand and make decisions about your treatment, an authorized representative may be appointed to make decisions for you. If you disagree with this, you will have a chance to object.

    You have the right to confidential records. Your records will be released only with your consent or the consent of your authorized representative, by court order (except in emergencies), or as otherwise required or permitted by law. Virginia law allows fifteen days for the release of records.

    You have the right to inspect and copy your records at your own expense, except where it would be harmful to you. In that situation, you may choose a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist to see the records on your behalf. You or your psychiatrist/clinical psychologist may obtain the procedure for inspecting and copying your records from any MPNNCSB staff member or by calling the Quality Assurance Office at 804-758-5314.

    If you feel there are mistakes in your records, you have the right to request that they be corrected. If MPNNCSB personnel do not make the requested changes, you may place your statement about the error or errors in your records.

    You or your authorized representative must first give informed consent before you receive treatment or service, except in an emergency. You or your authorized representative must give additional consent for any treatment that presents a significant risk, for example, one that might cause injury or have a serious side effect.

    You have the right to be called by your preferred or legal name, to be protected from abuse, and to request help in applying for services or benefits for which you are eligible.

    If you are in a residential program, you have the right to a safe, sanitary, and humane environment and to have suitable clothing provided if it is not otherwise available. You have the right to confidential mail, telephone communications, and personal meetings with professionals or counselors assisting you. You have the right to observe religious practices that do not conflict with the rights of others or with the law.

    Your personal or physical freedom can be limited when necessary for your safety or the safety of others. If this happens, you have the right to be involved in decisions to limit your freedom and to be told what must happen for the limits to be removed. MPNNCSB staff may apply restrictions without notice in emergencies.

    You have a right to be paid for work you do for the program, which the law defines as compensable work, for example, working as a courier to make deliveries to agency sites. Personal housekeeping and work done as part of treatment, not mainly to make money for the program, are not compensable work.

    You retain your basic legal rights when you enter this program. These rights include, but are not limited to, the right to: enter into contracts, register and vote, marry or divorce, make a will, and use the courts.

    If you believe that there has been a violation of your rights under the Community Regulations, you have the right to file a complaint with any program employee, who will inform the appropriate program representative. You may also meet with the program staff investigating the complaint and appeal the decision of the program director.

    In answering your complaint, program staff must inform you of your appeal rights, including the right to appeal a decision to the Local Human Rights Committee (LHRC).

    The state has appointed a regional advocate to make sure that programs recognize individual rights. The advocate will assist you in making, resolving, or appealing complaints about potential rights violations.

    You may contact the regional advocate, Mr. Reginald T. Daye at 757-253-7061, if you would like to file a complaint regarding a possible violation of your rights.