Know Your Rights

Adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders may receive community-based behavioral and mental health services and supports through their local Community Mental Health Service Provider, known as the CMH or CMHSP.  Intake or access staff at local CMH offices conduct assessments and eligibility screenings to evaluate the level and types of services needed.  They may also provide brief crisis services.  Medicaid recipients are entitled to obtain services that are medically necessary if they have a serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance or intellectual/developmental disability.  Priority is given to the most serious forms of disability and to those in urgent situations.  At times, people who do not qualify for Medicaid will be placed on a waiting list if there is not enough funding to provide services from a recommended program.  However, no one may be denied services because they cannot afford to pay for services.

The CMHSPs are overseen by the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration (BHDDA), which is located within the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

  • BHDDA carries out responsibilities specified in the Michigan Mental Health Code (Public Act 258 of 1974 as amended) and the Michigan Public Health Code (Public Act 368 of 1978 as amended).  It also administers Medicaid Waivers for people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or serious emotional disturbance, and it administers prevention and treatment services for substance use disorders.  The administration establishes the policy directions and standards for the statewide system.

There are 46 CMHSPs that are managed by 10 Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHPs) – view this link to a map of community mental health service programs to find yours.

When you receive mental health services, the Michigan Mental Health Code and other laws safeguard your rights. CMHSP staff are responsible for protecting your rights when they provide services to you. Your rights include the right to be treated with dignity and respect, the right to receive treatment suited to condition, the right to participate in decisions regarding your treatment, the right to give informed consent, freedom from abuse or neglect, the right to confidentiality, and more.  For more information, click on the link below:


The Michigan Mental Health Code requires that each CMHSP provide a person-centered planning approach to the planning, selection, and delivery of services, supports and treatment you receive.  There are 4 basic parts to the person-centered planning process:

  • Identify the future you desire – Your hopes and dreams
  • Plan the future you desire – Develop goals or outcomes you want to achieve
  • Determine the supports and services it will take to achieve your desired future and goals
  • Get regular feedback on how you feel about the supports, services and treatment


If you feel your rights have been violated while receiving services, you can file a Recipient Rights Complaint. Information on how to file a Recipient Rights Complaint is below.

  • Disability Rights Michigan: Office of Recipient Rights Complaints & Appeals
  • Complaints can be filed with the Office of Recipient Rights (ORR) in your area.
    • Click Here to find the Recipient Rights office in your area.
    • Click Here to file the Recipient Rights Complaint Form (ORR Complaint Form)


What To Do If You Disagree with Your Treatment

Complaints, Grievances, Appeals and Medicaid Fair Hearings

Disability Rights Michigan: Medicaid Fair Hearing Appeal

This information is a service of Disability Rights Michigan (DRM). It provides general information, based on the law at the time we wrote it, and is not legal advice. You do not have an attorney-client relationship with DRM. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. If you would like more information about this topic or would like to receive this information in an alternative format call DRM at 800.288.5923.

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