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Division of Mental Health Services

Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services

OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM AND HELPLINE

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Support Services’ Ombudsman Program and Helpline offers direct, individualized support and assistance to individuals who are experiencing problems accessing services and supports with the goal of enhancing outcomes and the well-being of consumers. To accomplish this OCAPSS:

Investigates and resolves complaints for service recipients
Operates Helpline and triages calls
Provides links to services and information on mental health and substance abuse resources

The program ensures compliance with state and federal laws that prohibit unfair treatment through the confidential handling of complaints.

Through the Ombudsman Program, OCAPSS staff helps to resolve problems by mediating the concerns of each person involved in the situation. The Ombudsman accepts statewide calls.

What is an Ombudsman?
An "Ombudsman" is a person who helps service recipients and their families resolve questions or problems. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Support Services Ombudsman Program offers direct assistance to individuals who are experiencing issues accessing services and supports.

What can be done for me?
The Ombudsman mediates the concerns of each person involved in a specific situation and may serve as an advocate for the service recipients, the family, the state or, the provider when appropriate. The concerns of the service recipient are always addressed first.

For the Service Recipient the Ombudsman will:

  • Take time to listen to concerns
  • Keep all matters confidential
  • Assist in problem resolution
  • Inform persons of their rights and responsibilities as a recipient of services in Tennessee

For Families and Friends the Ombudsman will:

  • Help clarify regulations that apply to a specific situation
  • Provide information regarding alternatives
  • Provide information regarding access to services and supports
  • Suggest referrals to other agencies

When should I contact the Ombudsman?
When service recipients or their families cannot resolve their issues through consultation with the facility staff or governmental agencies involved.

What services are available through the Helpline?
Consumer advocates assist individuals with mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, or alcohol and drug abuse problems and their families to locate a wide array of support services within their community.

The Helpline maintains a knowledge base of current information on statewide contacts and resources, and consults with the mental health community, advocates, TDMHSAS, and TennCare personnel.

Consumer Advocates are available from 8 AM to 4:30 PM (Central)
Monday through Friday
800-560-5767
Local (Nashville): 615-532-6700
Email: OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov

Division of Mental Health Services Links