The Counseling Center
Welcome to the Counseling Center
We have prepared this booklet for you, to inform you of
your rights as a client of The Counseling Center,
and also to inform you of what we request of you.
Please read this booklet carefully and ask any questions
you may have about your Client Rights.
The Counseling Center Client Rights
From the Ohio Administrative Code 5122-26-18
All who access Counseling Center services (with the exception of those receiving Forensic Evaluation Services) have the following Client Rights. Forensic Client Rights are provided to those participating in that Counseling Center service.
- The right to be treated with consideration and respect for personal dignity, autonomy and privacy;
- The right to reasonable protection from physical, sexual or emotional abuse and inhumane treatment;
- The right to receive services in the least restrictive environment;
- The right to participate in an appropriate and available service that is consistent with an individual service plan, regardless of the refusal of any other service, unless that service is a necessity for clear treatment reasons and requires the person’s participation;
- The right to give informed consent to or refuse any service, treatment or therapy, including medication absent an emergency;
- The right to participate in the development, review and revision of one’s own individual treatment plan and receive a copy of it;
- The right to freedom from unnecessary or excessive medication, and to be free from restraint or seclusion;
- The right to be informed and the right to refuse any unusual or hazardous treatment procedures;
- The right to be advised and the right to refuse observation by others and by techniques such as one-way mirrors, tape recorders, video recorders, television, movies, photographs or other audio and visual technology. This right does not prohibit an agency from using closed-circuit monitoring to observe common areas, which do not include bathrooms or sleeping areas;
- The right to confidentiality of communications and personal identifying information within the limitations and requirements for disclosure of client information under state and federal regulations;
- The right to have access to one’s own client record unless access to certain information is restricted for clear treatment reasons. If access is restricted, the treatment plan shall include the reason for the restriction, a goal to remove the restriction, and the treatment being offered to remove the restriction.
- The right to be informed a reasonable amount of time in advance of the reason for terminating participation in a service, and to be provided a referral, unless the service is unavailable or not necessary;
- The right to be informed of the reason for denial of a service;
- The right not to be discriminated against for receiving services on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap, developmental disability, genetic information, human immunodeficiency virus status, or in any manner prohibited by local, state or federal laws;
- The right to know the cost of services;
- The right to be verbally informed of all client rights, and to receive a written copy upon request;
- The right to exercise one’s own rights without reprisal, except that no right extends so far as to supersede health and safety consideration;
- The right to file a grievance;
- The right to have oral and written instructions concerning the procedure for filing a grievance, and assistance in filing a grievance if requested;
- The right to be informed of one’s own condition; and
- The right to consult with an independent treatment specialist or legal counsel at one’s own expense
Confidentiality & The Counseling Center’s Responsibilities
The confidentiality of client records maintained by The Counseling Center is protected by federal law and regulations. Generally, the employees of The Counseling Center may not say to a person outside the Center that a client attends a program, or disclose any information identifying an individual as a Counseling Center client UNLESS:
- The client consents in writing; or
- The disclosure is allowed by court order; or
- The disclosure is made during a medical or psychiatric emergency. The Counseling Center has responsibility to address and to report if necessary, situations which may lead to attempted suicide or homicide.
Violation of the federal law and regulations by a program is illegal. Suspected violations may be reported to appropriate authorities in accordance with federal regulations as presented in The Counseling Center’s Privacy Notice.
Federal law and regulations do not protect any information about a crime committed by a client either at the program or against any person who works for the program, or about a threat to commit such a crime.
Federal laws and regulations do not protect any information about suspected child abuse or neglect from being reported under State laws. It is The Counseling Center’s responsibility to report suspected child abuse and neglect to appropriate state or local authorities.
- The Counseling Center Staff wants you to know that you have a right and a responsibility to participate in making decisions about the services you or your child receive. Your service provider will ask for your thoughts and ideas about what you want to accomplish as a result of being involved in a Counseling Center program. An Individual Treatment Plan will be developed by you and your service provider to assist you in accomplishing your goals.
- You have a responsibility to provide your medical insurance information if you have insurance; and you also have a responsibility to pay for your services as agreed upon by you and the Counseling Center Financial Department per your Client Fee Agreement.
- You have a responsibility to call at least one day before your appointment if you need to cancel or reschedule the appointment. Please see additional information about missed, cancelled and rescheduled appointments on the following page.
Scheduling and Keeping Appointments For Counseling Services
We know your time is valuable, as is ours. When you schedule with your therapist we reserve that time for you. If your therapist can’t keep your appointment, we will let you know as far in advance as possible. We expect you will return this courtesy. Please be aware of the following as you start your treatment at the Center:
- If you miss more than one appointment without giving 24 hours notice, you may need to talk to your therapist before rescheduling. If you then reschedule and miss your next appointment without giving 24 hours notice, we will assume you are no longer interested in therapy and will begin to close your counseling case.
- If you show a pattern of inconsistent attendance, you may need to talk to your therapist before rescheduling. If you then reschedule and miss your next appointment without giving 24 hours notice, we will assume you are no longer interested in therapy and will close this service.
Should your Counseling be closed, you may re-enter this Center service at any time by contacting our Screening Department. If you are receiving other Center services, such as Psychiatry or Community Support, you may continue in these services.
Client Grievance Procedures
If you believe that your rights, as listed in this booklet, have been violated, you or someone appointed by you may file a grievance through The Counseling Center’s Grievance Procedure. The Counseling Center Grievance Procedure operates as follows:
- A client or authorized representative may file a grievance at any time. Persons are encouraged to file grievances in a timely manner in order to assure the most effective resolution of the problem. In order for a person to file a grievance on behalf of the client, an authorization form must be signed by the client.
- Persons desiring to file a grievance will be referred to the Client Advocate or the back-up Advocate. Whenever these parties are unavailable, any staff member can gather the information to begin the process and forward the information to the Advocate. If the griever requires assistance in filing the grievance, assistance will be provided by the Client Advocate or other Counseling Center staff member.
- The sequence of activities which will occur as part of the grievance process is as follows:
- The client or authorized designee presents the grievance in writing to the Client Advocate or other staff member.
- The client’s written grievance is to include the date, time, and description of the incident being grieved, and names of individuals involved.
- The grievance must be signed and dated by the client or his/her authorized designee.
- The Client Advocate, Client Advocate Back-up, or other designated staff member collects information related to the grievance.
- The Client Advocate or Back-up will initiate contact with the griever within one working day of the receipt of the complaint.
- The Client Advocate will provide written acknowledgement of receipt of the grievance within three (3) days. This acknowledgement shall include, but not limited to: the date the grievance was received; a summary of the grievance; and overview of grievance investigation process; a timetable for completion of investigation and notification of resolution; and Client Advocate’s contact name, address, and telephone number.
- The Client Advocate investigates the complaint according to the steps below:
- Speaks with the client and/or designated griever to clarify the nature of the grievance
- Secures client permission for another person to represent the client during grievance process if applicable.
- Secures any required written releases of information from the client.
- Obtains and records facts from all parties involved in the complaint, as well as from written documents or client records
- Attempts to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible while assuring a fair and equitable resolution; attempts to determine whether a client’s rights have been violated.
- Discusses findings and the Client Advocate’s opinion with the client and other parties as necessary to resolve the grievance satisfactorily.
- If resolved, provide written results of the grievance process to the client and/or the griever, as well as other significant parties involved in the complaint.
- If the Client Advocate or Back-up is unable to resolve the complaint for any reason, an agency grievance committee will be formed to hear the complaint. Members of the committee will be selected by the Client Advocate in consultation with the Center’s Executive Director. The committee will consist of three persons who may be, but not limited to, staff or Board members. The client’s permission and release of information will be obtained before anyone who is not an agency staff member, serves on the committee.
- The grievance committee will hear the facts related to the complaint within ten (10) working days of its appointment. The Client Advocate and the client or representative may attend the hearing and present information to the committee. The Client Advocate may represent the griever at the Center hearing, if desired by the griever.
- The committee will issue a written statement of its opinion to the client and other parties.
- If the client or griever is not satisfied, he or she may further appeal to an impartial decision-maker outside the agency. These parties include the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and others listed in this booklet. The Center’s Client Advocate will assist the client in communication with one or more of the entities to present information related to the grievance.
- Within twenty (20) calendar days of receiving the grievance, the Center will make a resolution decision on the grievance. Any exceptions that cause this time period to be extended will be documented in the grievance file and written notification will be given to the client or persons filing the grievance on the client’s behalf.
- The Client Advocate will provide, on request, all relevant information about the grievance to one or more of the outside entities listed in the posting to which the client or griever has initiated a complaint, providing the client has signed a release of information.
- The grievance procedure will be posted in a conspicuous place in each building operated by The Counseling Center.
- Each direct service client will receive a copy of the grievance procedure at service initiation, annually, and upon request from the Client Advocate, Back-up or receptionist.
- The Client Advocate will be promptly accessible to the griever, contacting the griever by telephone and/or in person within one (1) working day of the filing of the grievance. If the Advocate is unavailable, the Client Advocate Back-up or other trained Center staff will assume the responsibility.
- If the Client Advocate is the subject of the grievance, the Advocate Back-up will conduct the grievance process.
- Every staff person of the Center, including administrative, clerical and support staff, will be informed through training and written communication, that each has the continuing responsibility to immediately advise any client or other person who is voicing a concern, complaint, or grievance, about the name and availability of the Center’s Client Advocate and the complainant’s right to file a grievance.
- The Counseling Center will enable the Client Advocate and the Back-up to arrange or alter their usual work schedules as needed to perform the required duties of their client rights roles. It will be expected that the Client Advocate will assist the client in communication with one or more entities to present information related to the grievance.
- The Client Advocate assures the keeping of records of grievances and all associated documentation for a period of at least two (2) years from resolution of the dispute.
- Agency records of grievances are available for review by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board upon request.
- The agency submits quarterly and annual summary reports to the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. The reports include the following information.
- Number of grievances filed
- If the grievance was filed by a person receiving Mental Health, SUD or other services
- If the grievance was filed by a client, or on behalf of the client and by whom, e.g. parent, spouse, friend, etc.
- Nature of grievance
- Status of the grievance at the end of each quarter (filed, under investigation, resolved or appealed)
- The total number of days to process the grievance, from filing to resolution, for any grievance resolved by the end of the quarter being reported
The Counseling Center has a Client Advocate who has special training. She will make certain that client rights are protected and will help in listening to and resolving client grievances. A person has also been appointed as a Client Advocate Back-up to help if the Client Advocate is not available.
The Client Advocate is:
Jerry Semivan, LPCC-S
Director of Corporate Compliance
The Counseling Center
40722 State Route 154, P.O. Box 429
Lisbon, Ohio 44432
Hours available are from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Client Advocate Back-up is:
Jayne Gallagher, LSW
Screening and Crisis Department
The Counseling Center
Hours available are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday
The Client Advocate and other staff are here to help you. If you have any questions about the Client Rights which are included in this brochure, you are asked to talk about them with your service provider. We strive to serve our clients fairly. A client may choose to express and discuss a concern or complaint before filing a formal grievance becomes necessary. Please let us know how we can help you.
At any time, clients or their representatives have a right to file a grievance with any of the organizations listed below. Please feel free to discuss this option with your service provider or the Client Advocate.
Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board
27 Vista Drive, P.O. Box 500, Lisbon, OH 44432
Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS)
30 East Broad Street, 8th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3430
Phone: 1-877-275-6364 TTY: 1-888-636-488
Disability Rights Ohio
50 West Broad Street, Suite 1400
Columbus, OH 43215-5923
Phone: 614-466-7264 or 1-800-858-3542
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,
Office of Civil Rights
233 Michigan Ave Suite 240
Chicago, IL 60601
Thank you for taking the time to review this booklet.
Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions about your Client Rights, or express any other concerns you may have.
It is our Mission to improve the lives of individuals and families by meeting the behavioral health needs of our community.
We accomplish this through:
- Excellent customer service
- Evidence-based practice
- Continuous performance improvement
- Recovery-focused care that is comprehensive, effective, and affordable.
The Counseling Center Satellite Office Satellite Office
P.O. Box 429 15613 Pineview Drive 166 1/2 Vine Avenue
40722 State Route 154 Suite A Salem, Ohio 44460
Lisbon, Ohio 44432 East Liverpool, OH 43920 330-332-1514
Web site: www.colmhc.org
The Counseling Center is a contract agency of
The Columbiana County Mental Health
and Recovery Services Board