What the Client
Advocate Can Do For You...
What is an Ombudsman? The word Ombudsman (om-budz-man) is of Swedish origin, and means one
who speaks on behalf of another. The purpose of the Ombudsman Program is to help consumers
of mental health/substance abuse service maintain or improve their quality of life by
helping ensure their rights are not violated.
Consumer Rights You Have the Right To:
Be treated with dignity and respect.
Help develop a plan of care and services, which meets your
Refuse any proposed treatment.
Receive care, which does not discriminate against you and
is sensitive to your gender, race, national origin, language, age, disability, and sexual
Receive an explanation of all medications prescribed,
including expected effects and possible side effects.
Review the agencys grievance policy.
Lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman, or provider, if you
believe that your rights have been violated or needs are not being met by services
Be free from any retaliation if you lodge a complaint.
What the Client Advocate
Can Do For You
Listen and Record
The Client Advocate will listen to your side of the story and take
Research and Investigate
The Client Advocate will research your particular problem and
conduct an investigation to find additional information.
Education and Support
The Client Advocate will help consumers access appropriate consumer
or family education for the development of coping skills or other community resources.
Represent and Advocate
The Client Advocate will serve as an Advocate for you with service
Resolve and Recommend
The Client Advocate will do everything possible to resolve your
complaint or grievance and recommend changes in the mental health system, if warranted.
Actions We May Take
The Ombudsman Office tries to resolve concerns or complaints in a way that improves the
quality of care patients/clients receive.
Possible actions by this office include:
Mediate or advocate on behalf of a client
Consult with providers about policies, practices, and
Gather and analyze information
Make recommendations, issue reports, and monitor results
Points of Contact
To initiate your grievance, contact the
Client Advocates below.
Phone: (850) 244-1040
Walton County Phone: (850) 244-1040
Ombudsman Program Funded by the State of Florida, District One, Department of Children and
In Crisis - Go to
Nearest Hospital ER I Suicide Life Line 1-800-784-2433
Abuse/Neglect of Children or Vulnerable Adults 1-800-962-2873
Veteran Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1
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