Consumers and Families: Advocacy
MHRSB Client’s Rights Coordinator/Ombudsman
The client’s rights coordinator is charged with promoting the highest attainable standards of treatment, competency, efficiency and justice for persons receiving behavioral health services. If you would like further information about your rights as a consumer, are concerned that your rights have been violated or have a complaint regarding your care, contact the MHRSB Client’s Rights Coordinator/Ombudsman.
Client’s Rights Coordinator/Ombudsman
Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Stark County
121 Cleveland Avenue SW
Canton, OH 44702
You may also file a written complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you feel your privacy rights have been violated. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.
Additional Consumer Support Services
Anyone who is
experiencing psychiatric symptoms who feels they could use a little help from
someone who has “been there,” may contact the Ombudsman. The Mental Health and
Recovery Services Board of Stark County provides the funding for this position.
Because of personal experience, the Ombudsman has learned how to weave through
the often complex mental health system. You will be treated with respect and
dignity and your concerns will be treated in a confidential and non-judgmental
way. For assistance or additional information, contact Ombudsman at
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Support, Education, Advocacy, and Research
inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of
individuals and families affected by mental illness.
decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental
health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment
and unceasing belief in NAMI's mission by grassroots advocates have produced
profound changes. NAMI's greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots
leaders and members. We are the families, friends and individuals that serve to
strengthen communities across the country.
Due in large
part to generous individual, corporate, and foundation donations, NAMI is able
to build on its success and continue to focus on three cornerstones of activity
that offer hope, reform, and health to our American community: Awareness,
Education, and Advocacy.
Awareness and Support: A Pathway to
and public education efforts are focused on educating America about mental
illness, offering resources to that in need, and insisting that mental illness
become a high national priority. Mental illness is a serious medical illness
that affects one in four families. No one is to blame. Treatment works, but
only half of people living with mental illness receive treatment. NAMI has
engaged in a variety of activities to create awareness about mental illness and
promote the promise of recovery.
Education: The Face and Voice of Mental
NAMI offers an
array of peer education and training programs, initiatives and services for
individuals, family members, health care providers and the general public.
NAMI's education and support programs provide relevant information, valuable insight,
and the opportunity to engage in support networks. These programs draw on the
lived experience of individuals who have learned to live well with mental
illness and have been extensively trained to help others, as well as the
expertise of mental health professionals and educators. NAMI and volunteer
grassroots leaders are committed to education as the pathway to recovery,
empowerment and wellness. In addition to education programs and initiatives
offered through NAMI National, many of NAMI's over 1,100 affiliates offer an
array of support and education programs and activities for families and
individuals. Many of NAMI's program offerings are also available in Spanish
language and some are also provided by means of translations into other
Advocacy: A Respected Force
recognized as the preeminent voice on Capitol Hill and in state houses across
the country for the millions of Americans living with serious mental illness.
NAMI advocates have fought for policy changes that raise the bar on mental
illness care and promote treatment and research on par with other illnesses.
NAMI's advocacy provides a unique voice for people who live with mental illness
and their families in state and federal public and private-sector policies that
facilitate research, end discrimination, reduce barriers to successful life in
the community and promote timely, comprehensive and effective mental health
services and supports. NAMI National and NAMI grassroots leaders work steadily
to influence critical national policy debates as they unfold.
About NAMI Stark
Education and Advocacy Programs:
This is a free, 12-week educational
course available to family and friends of people diagnosed with a serious
mental illness. The course, taught by trained family members, describes
treatments for mental illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that
family members need to cope more effectively. The course is highly recommended
to those new to the challenges of mental illness, as well as for those who have
been dealing with it for years.
The Family-to-Family Education Program was created by Dr.
Joyce Burland, a psychologist and family member, and is sponsored by the
National Alliance on Mental Illness. This twelve-class course is especially
designed for family members and friends of persons experiencing the effects of
mental illness. Primary focus is on three major psychiatric illnesses:
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and major depression. Other
topics covered in the program include treatment strategies and coping skills,
communication and problem solving.
Classes are team-taught by intensively trained family members. Participants are
encouraged to support each other, to be knowledgeable, and to be effective
members of a team that includes the family, the consumer, the doctor, and the
Peer-to-Peer is a free
nine-week (2hrs/wk) course on recovery for any
person with a serious mental illness who is interested in
establishing and maintaining wellness. The course uses a combination of
lecture, interactive exercises and structured group processes.
a free nine-week education program
for parents, teachers and professionals involved with children at risk for or
who have an emotional disturbance/behavioral disorder or mental illness
diagnosis. Participants will gain an understanding of issues pertinent to
Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Depression and Mood Disorders such as
Bi-Polar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, OCD, ODD, Conduct Disorder, Schizophrenia
and more. Topics covered include:
- Understanding your child's
- Developing family coping skills
- Counseling, therapy and
- Special educational needs,
including the IEP process
- Juvenile justice and child
Guidance is given on locating appropriate support and services within the
community and obtaining better mental health services. Advocacy for
appropriate federal and state policies is also included.