Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services; Part A - V. Notification of Rights

A. Recipients have the right to be notified of all rights accorded them as recipients of services, by Maine statute, these rules, the Bates v. Davenport Settlement Agreement, if applicable, and associated policies.

B. At the time of admission or intake, or as soon afterwards as is reasonably feasible, each recipient shall be informed, to the extent possible, of his or her rights under these rules in terms that he or she understands.

  1. Such information shall be given by an employee of the facility or program in a manner designed to be comprehensible to the individual recipient.
  2. In cases where the recipient does not understand English or is deaf, the notification of right shall be conducted by an interpreter.
  3. If the recipient's condition at admission or intake precludes understanding of his or her rights, additional attempts to provide information about rights shall occur and be documented.
  4. Documentation of the results of the discussion about rights shall be noted in the recipient's permanent treatment record.
  5. Recipients shall be advised of their right to name a designated representative or representatives to assist them to receive notices of meetings and to participate at meetings. Recipients shall additionally be given information regarding available advocacy and peer advocacy programs.
  6. Recipients shall be further advised of their rights pursuant to these rules and the Settlement Agreement in Bates v. Davenport, as applicable.

C. At the time of admission or intake, each recipient shall be given a summary of these recipient rights written in plain language. In instances in which the recipient is deaf, the summary of these recipient rights will be communicated in American Sign Language.

  1. Copies of the summary shall be given to:
    a. The recipient's guardian, if any; or
    b. In the case of any recipient without a guardian, up to three individuals, if designated by the recipient.
  2. Those persons, including the recipient, given copies of summaries shall be noted in the medical record.
  3. Copies of the summaries shall be conspicuously posted in all agencies, facilities, and program areas.
  4. The summaries shall contain instructions for viewing these rules, the Settlement Agreement in Bates v. Davenport, and associated Policies developed to implement these two documents.
  5. The summaries shall be made available in foreign languages or American Sign Language, if necessary.

D. At the time of the notification required above, recipients shall be notified that they, their guardians acting on their behalf, or their designated representatives may bring grievances claiming that the practices, procedures or policies of the Department, a non-State mental health institution, or any agency licensed by, funded by or under contract with the Department to provide mental health services, violate the terms of these rules, the terms of the Bates v. Davenport Settlement Agreement, or any other applicable law or regulation. They shall additionally be notified of the process whereby grievances may be filed and of their right to be assisted throughout the grievance procedure by a representative of their choice. In the written notice required by section V(C) above, recipients shall additionally be notified of the advocacy services available through the Department's Office of Advocacy, the rights protection and advocacy agency, pear advocates, and the Ombudsman Program established pursuant to 22 M.R.S.A. § 5112(2).

E. Each program area shall have complete copies of these recipient rights rules, the Settlement Agreement in Bates v. Davenport, and associated agency policies. Each recipient shall be offered a copy of these rules. Additional copies of these documents shall be available from the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Station 40, State Office Building, Augusta, Maine 04333.

F. The Office of Advocacy shall have copies of all statutes referenced in these rules. These statutes shall be available for review during regular working hours at the Office of Advocacy, Station 60, State Office Building, Augusta, Maine 04333.