The Mississippi State Department of Health sets the standards for psychiatric residential treatment facilities and psychiatric hospitals

These are your CHILD’s rights in a psychiatric residential treatment facility or psychiatric hospital:

  1. Each patient shall have impartial access to treatment, regardless of race, religion, sex, ethnicity, age, or handicap;


  2. Each patient’s personal dignity shall be recognized and respected in the provision of all care and treatment;


  3. Each patient shall receive individualized treatment, which shall include at least the following:
    1. The provision of adequate and human services, regardless of source(s) of financial support;
    2. The provision of services within the least restrictive environment possible;
    3. The provision of an individual treatment plan;
    4. The periodic review of the patient’s treatment plan;
    5. The active participation of patients over 12 years of age and their responsible parent, relative, or guardian in planning for treatment; and
    6. The provision of an adequate number of competent, qualified, and experienced professional clinical staff to supervise and implement the treatment plan.


  4. For each patient:
    1. The patient’s family and significant others, regardless of their age, shall be allowed to visit the patient, unless such visits are clinically contraindicated;
    2. Suitable areas shall be provided for patients to visit in private, unless such privacy is contraindicated by the patient’s treatment plan;
    3. Patients shall be allowed to send and receive mail without hindrance;
    4. Patients shall be allowed to conduct private telephone conversations with family and friends, unless clinically contraindicated;
    5. If therapeutic indications necessitate restrictions on visitors, telephone calls, or other communications, those restrictions shall be evaluated for therapeutic effectiveness by the clinically responsible staff at least every seven days; and
    6. If limitations on visitors, telephone calls, or other communications are indicated for practical reasons (for example, expense of travel or phone calls) such limitations shall be determined with the participation of the patient and the patient’s family. All such restrictions shall be fully explained to the patient and the patient’s family.


  5.  Each patient has the right to request the opinion of a consultant at his or her expense or to request an in-house review of the individual treatment plan.

  6. Each patient shall be informed of his or her rights in a language the patient understands.

  7. Each patient shall receive a written statement of patient rights, and a copy of this statement shall be posted in various areas of the facility.

These are YOUR and your CHILD’S rights if your child is in a psychiatric residential treatment facility or psychiatric hospital:

As appropriate, the patient, the patient’s family, or the patient’s legal guardian shall be fully informed about the following items:

  • The rights of patients;
  • The professional staff members responsible for his or her care, their professional status, and their staff relationship;
  • The nature of the care; procedures, and treatment that he or she will receive
  • The current and future use and disposition of products of special observation and audiovisual techniques, such as one-way vision mirrors, tape recorders, television, movies, or photographs;
  • The risks, side effects; and benefits of all medications and treatment procedures used, especially those that are unusual or experimental;
  • The alternate treatment procedures that are available;
  • The right to refuse to participate in any research project without compromising his or her access to facility services;
  • The right, to the extent permitted by law, to refuse specific medications or treatments procedures;
  • The responsibility of the facility, when the patient refuses treatment, to seek appropriate legal alternatives or orders of involuntary treatment, or, in accordance with professional standards, to terminate the relationship with the patient upon reasonable notice;
  • As appropriate, the cost, itemized when possible, of services rendered;
  • The source of the facility’s reimbursement, and any limitations placed on duration of services;
  • The reasons for any proposed change in the professional staff responsible for the patient, or for any transfer of the patient either within or outside of the facility; 
  • The rules and regulations of the facility applicable to his or her conduct;
  • The right to initiate a complaint or grievance procedure and the appropriate means of requesting a hearing or review of the complaint;
  • The discharge plans; and
  • The plans for meeting continuing mental and physical health requirements following discharge.

If you have a concern about your child’s or family’s rights, we encourage you to talk to the staff working with your child and follow the chain of command in the facility until your concern is resolved.  We are happy to support you or go to meetings with you.

If you are unable to resolve the issue with the facility, these are additional steps you can take:

You can call the Mississippi Department of Health at 1-800-227-7308.  If your child receives Medicaid, you can also call Medicaid at 1-800-880-5920

There are also groups that accredit residential treatment centers and they have additional standards about the care children and families receive.  You can contact these organizations directly if you believe your child is not getting good care:

There is a federal law, the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program – PAIMI, that protects people with mental illness in facilities.  If you are concerned that your child is experiencing abuse or neglect in a psychiatric residential treatment facility or psychiatric hospital, you can report your concerns to one of the organizations that enforces the federal PAIMI law:

Disability Rights Mississippi 1-800-772-4057

Southern Poverty Law Center (601) 948-8882