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Advocacy, complaints and appeals for people receiving mental health care or treatment

At times you or your family may need help to understand the mental health system. Here are a list of organisations that will be able to assist you or your family:

Advocacy 

At some time you may need help to understand or move through the mental health system as a consumer, carer or family member. 

Peer Worker

The treatment centre may have Peer Workers or Peer Specialists who can assist you. Please ask staff for more information. A Carer Consultant may also be available to help carers and families.

Community Visitor Scheme

The Community Visitor Scheme is an independent statutory body that inspects approved treatment centres and advocates for the rights of mental health care consumers within treatment centres.

The Office of the Public Advocate

The Office of the Public Advocate is an independent agency that advises, assists and advocates for people with mental incapacity.

The Disability Advocacy and Complaints Service of South Australia

The Disability Advocacy and Complaints Service of South Australia is a non-government organisation that assists with advocacy and complaints for people with any kind of disability.

Disability Rights Advocacy Service Inc - South Australia

Disability Rights Advocacy Service Inc is a non-government organisation that advocates for clients of the mental health system, particularly those from non-English speaking and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Language and hearing help

If you have difficulty understanding English you can contact the Interpreting and Translating Centre (South Australia) or the Translating and Interpreting Service  (Australia wide) for assistance. 

People with hearing or speaking difficulties can contact the National Relay Service.

Complaints

Sometimes an individual or family may be unhappy with the treatment they have received and wish to make a complaint. 

All hospitals and health services have Patient Advisors or Complaints Officers – please ask staff to help you get in contact with the right person. 

If your complaint is not resolved, you can use the Contact us information on the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist main page. 

If all other options have been tried, you may contact the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner to work through your complaint.

Appeals

Sometimes an individual or family may wish to appeal against an order. You can ask the Guardianship Board to examine your case and it will consider what you, your family and your treatment team have to say. 

You may have a lawyer, paid for by the Department for Health and Ageing, represent you during the appeal process. 

If you want to make an appeal please ask your treatment team about how to begin the process.

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