The information listed here applies to individuals receiving services for mental health a developmental disability, or substance use on an inpatient basis in Wisconsin, other than from a state-operated facility.
Client Rights Pamphlets
Client rights are explained in a pamphlet (P-20195) that is handed out on admission. Each patient unit also has a poster listing client rights.
- P-20195A English (8½ by 14) - Client Rights and the Grievance Procedure for Inpatient or Residential Services (PDF, 676 KB)
- P-20195AWP English (8½ by 11) - Client Rights and the Grievance Procedure for Inpatient or Residential Services (PDF, 649 KB)
- P-20195AH Hmong - Client Rights and the Grievance Resolution Procedure for Inpatient or Residential Services (PDF, 674 KB)
- P-20195AS Spanish - Client Rights and the Grievance Resolution Procedure for Inpatient or Residential Services (PDF, 652 KB)
Law and Code
Any patient, or anyone on behalf of the patient, may file a complaint if they feel the patient's rights have been violated within 45 days of the concern. Each facility has a Client Rights Specialist to answer questions about client rights and to handle the complaint process. Ask for the Client Rights Specialist if you need help.
The community grievance procedure (PDF, 17 KB) has a multi-level process which depends on who is paying for the patient's services.
- Level I: Program-level review
- Level II: County-level review, if applicable
- Level III: Appeal to the state grievance examiner at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Level IV: Appeal to the administrator of the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
The Community Grievance Decision Digest contains summaries of the decisions made at Level III and Level IV.
Complaints of rights violations may also be taken directly to court. The use of the grievance procedure is not required before going to court, but a grievance can be dismissed at the level or stage it is being considered once the matter is taken to court.
- Client Rights Limitation or Denial
- Community Grievance Decision Digest
- Confidentiality of Treatment Records
- Informed Consent