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Mental Health Ombudsman's Services

About Mental Health Ombudsman Services

The purpose of the Department of Health Care Services' Mental Health Ombudsman is to create a bridge between the Mental Health Plan system and individuals, family members and friends of individuals, in need of mental health services by providing information and assistance in navigating through the system.


The former Department of Mental Health Ombudsman Office began operations on April 1, 1999. The Office was developed in support of a comprehensive approach to beneficiary protection and service. The Department of Mental Health Managed Care Ombudsman Service is one of several points of accountability for access and quality in the Medi-Cal mental health managed care system.

How can the Ombudsman Office help you?

  • Assist you with navigating through the Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care System
  • Help you find information in order to access appropriate mental health services
  • Connect you with the right person/department to help you resolve a problem
  • Address concerns or grievances about services
  • Connect you with local resources in your county who can help you
  • Connect you with consumers’ rights services  

What are your rights? 

  • Dignity, privacy and humane care
  • Be free of harm
  • Prompt medical care and treatment
  • Client-centered services
  • Receive information about your treatment and to participate in it
  • Consent or refuse to consent to treatment (unless it is a legally defined emergency)
  • Treatment services that increase your ability to be more independent
  • Services and information in a language you can understand and that is culturally sensitive

Contact us

 ·         Hours of Operation:  Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm PST; excluding holidays

·         By Phone: 1-888-452-8609 or 1-800-896-4042 
·         By email*:
*Please note: E-mail provides no mechanism for ensuring the confidentiality or privacy of information contained within a message in transit. Therefore the sender of an email message assumes responsibility for including confidential or private data when utilizing this communication medium. The sender should exercise caution when composing a message to exclude confidential or private information such as names, street addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, license numbers, other personal identification numbers, etc.  If the sender wishes to contact the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Office of the Ombudsman to discuss any issues that may require the inclusion of private or confidential data, DHCS recommends calling the Ombudsman at (1-888) 452-8609.

Outside Resources


The California DEPARTMENT OF AGING, LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM (LTCOP) (Not DHCS) The primary responsibility of the LTCOP is to investigate and endeavor to resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities.

The California DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES (CDDS) is the agency through which the State of California provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities.  (Not DHCS)

The California DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES (DHCS - MEDI-CAL INFORMATION) To assist an individual in finding out if he/she qualifies as a Medi-Cal beneficiary, how to enroll and learn about available programs for children with special medical conditions and seniors needing personal care.

The California DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES, MEDI-CAL MANAGED CARE OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN, (DHCS- MMCD) The MMCD Office of the Ombudsman helps solve problems from a neutral standpoint to ensure that our members receive all medically necessary covered services for which plans are contractually responsible.

The California DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN FOR FOSTER CARE  (Not DHCS) Information on the rights of children and youth who are placed in foster care. The program provides advocacy services to foster children and youth and those who reach out on their behalf. 
Toll-free telephone 1-877-846-1602 e-mail address: (Not DHCS) For complaints, please go to:  (Not DHCS)

DISABILITY RIGHTS CALIFORNIA  (Not DHCS) (PATIENT'S RIGHTS ADVOCATE)  We envision a world where all people with disabilities have equality, dignity and power. Advocacy, information on disability rights, resources for persons with disabilities in California whose rights have been violated, and list of advocacy contacts throughout California. 1-800-776-5746 (Voice) 1-800-719-5798 (TTY) Handbook of Patient's Rights Advocates contact information listed by county.  (Not DHCS)

COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS Directory of California County Mental Health Departments (Mental Health Plan 24/7 Access telephone numbers)

NATIONAL LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN RESOURCE CENTER   (Not DHCS) Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT  (Not DHCS) Information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for individuals with disabilities, businesses, State and local governments, or others inquiring about general or specific ADA requirements, laws, regulations, reports and publications regarding the ADA.





Last modified on: 2/17/2017 8:46 AM