Rights of Montanans with Mental Illness Handbook:
This mental health rights handbook is for persons who use public or private mental health services or experience mental health problems while in the State of Montana. This handbook will provide you with information about your rights and make you aware of what action you can take if you think your rights may have been violated. Most people with mental illness have the same civil rights as anyone else — civil rights do not disappear because you are receiving mental health treatment. We recommend that you read this handbook now, even if you don’t need to use it at the moment.
It is important to remember that the first step in protecting your rights is to educate yourself about these rights. The second step is to be willing to discuss your rights with other people, especially your physician and the treatment staff. The third step is to contact other resources, such as Disability Rights Montana (DRM) or a mental health advocate, if necessary, to protect your rights.
This handbook should also be useful to attorneys working in the mental health field in Montana. The handbook is not intended to address all legal problems a user of the mental health system can face. Nor can it provide all answers to representatives of the user. However, it is a useful tool for helping you understand your legal rights and find assistance in protecting those rights in the mental health system of Montana.
This handbook was prepared and distributed by DRM, 1022 Chestnut Street, Helena, Montana 59601, (406) 449-2344 or 1-800-245-4743. DRM is a non-profit corporation which administers several federally-mandated advocacy programs, the Protection and Advocacy Program for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) among them.
DRM, which is responsible for the production of this handbook, is designated by the Governor, under Montana Code Annotated, Section 53-21-169, as the protection and advocacy agency for persons with significant mental illnesses or emotional impairment in the state of Montana.
Click here to download the handbook.