Adequate Mental Health Treatment

People who are in treatment at a DMHAS-operated community mental health center or private non-profit local mental health center have a right to adequate treatment as provided by the Connecticut Patients’ Bill of Rights, ยง 17a-542. Adequate treatment is treatment that is individualized and intended to benefit the patient. Courts have been extremely reluctant to second guess treating professionals after they exercise professional judgment, write and individualized treatment plan and reasonably attempt to implement the plan.

Connecticut law does not establish a positive right (entitlement) to treatment in the community. However, an applicant for services has the right to know the reason that he or she was denied and has the opportunity to grieve that decision. The person can also grieve the reduction or termination of services. Once a community provider starts treatment, it must do so reasonably and with ordinary care within professional standards.

If a young adult, ages 18-20, is covered by Medicaid, a part of Medicaid called EPSDT (Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment) may require that the state provide any medical service under Medicaid that the treating professional determines is necessary to correct or ameliorate a condition. If the patient is 21 or older and covered by Medicaid, the patient may have an enforceable right to medically necessary services listed in the State Medicaid Plan.