SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center

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Protection and Advocacy

Individuals with mental illnesses and serious emotional disturbances who reside in treatment facilities are among the groups most vulnerable to potential neglect and abuse. To help ensure that individuals receive appropriate care and treatment, each State has a system, designated by the Governor, to protect and advocate for the rights of people with mental illnesses.

CMHS funds and oversees the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program (PAIMI) that advocates for individuals with mental illnesses. Protection and advocacy services include general information and referrals; investigation of alleged abuse, neglect, and rights violations in facilities; and use of legal, legislative, systemic, and other remedies to correct verified incidents.

Anyone with a mental illness who resides in, or recently has been discharged from a facility, such as a hospital, group home, homeless shelter, residential treatment center, jail, or prison, may be eligible to receive these services through the PAIMI program.

PAIMI Program Performance Report Data

For free information about protection and advocacy systems - - including publications, references, and referrals to local and national resources and organizations - call 1.800.789.2647; (TDD) 1.866.889.2647.

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