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Discharge Planning

Persons served by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services have the right to be actively and meaningfully involved in decisions regarding their own treatment, recovery and discharge planning.

This specifically includes the right to choose where the person wants to live, both in terms of the types of living arrangement as well as the geographic region. This does not necessarily mean that the person will immediately be able to move where they want. There may be issues related to the availability of services and/or the individual’s ability to live in the particular preferred setting.

DMHAS has developed policies and procedures specifying the individual’s right to have their preferences respected. Policy No. 33 on Individualized Treatment and Recovery Planning outlines these rights. However, the department’s policy on Catchment Area Moves specifically addresses the responsibility of a hospital or community provider to help a person move to the area where he or she chooses to live, including their duty “to take all necessary and appropriate actions to accomplish that move in a timely manner.”

In addition, the community integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act protects the right of an individual with a disability to live in a setting that will maximize the opportunity to interact with persons who do not have disabilities. The U. S. Supreme Court also held in the case of L.C. v. Olmstead that unnecessary institutionalization constitutes discrimination.

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