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Florida Statutes § 394.459

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“Rights of patients under the Mental Health Act” 

Patients who are receiving mental health treatment have the following rights:

  • A person may not be denied treatment for mental illness and services at a health care facility because of his or her inability to pay;
  • Each patient entering treatment must provide informed consent for admission and treatment;
  • Each patient must receive medical, vocational, social, educational, and rehabilitative services as his or her condition requires in order to live successfully in the community;
  • Each patient has the right to communicate freely and privately with persons outside the health care facility;
  • A patient has the right to deny or withdraw consent at any time;
  • Each patient must have easy access to a telephone in order to report abuse and be informed of his right to report abuse;
  • The Department of Children and Family Services must adopt rules providing a procedure for reporting abuse of patients. Health care facility staff must be required, as a condition of employment, to become familiar with the requirements and procedures for the reporting of abuse of patients receiving mental health services; and
  • A patient has the right to participate in treatment and discharge planning and be notified in writing of his right to seek treatment from a provider of the patient’s choice upon discharge from the facility.

Each health care facility providing mental health treatment must post a notice on patient’s rights in plain language. The notice must include the telephone numbers of the Florida local advocacy council and Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.

The Department of Children and Family Services must report any violations or abuses of patients’ rights to the Agency for Health Care Administration. The agency is authorized to impose disciplinary sanctions. Any person who violates patients’ rights is civilly liable for damages.


Current as of June 2015