As used in this chapter:

(a) “Advocacy” means those activities undertaken on behalf of persons who are receiving or have received mental health services to protect their rights or to secure or upgrade treatment or other services to which they are entitled.

Terms Used In California Welfare and Institutions Code 5500

  • County: includes "city and county. See California Education Code 94150
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.

(b) “Mental health client” or “client” means a person who is receiving or has received services from a mental health facility, service, or program and who has personally or through a guardian ad litem, entered into an agreement with a county patients’ rights advocate for the provision of advocacy services.

(c) “Mental health facilities, services, or programs” means a publicly operated or supported mental health facility or program; a private facility or program licensed or operated for health purposes providing services to persons with mental health disorders; and publicly supported agencies providing other than mental health services to clients with mental health disorders.

(d) “Independent of providers of service” means that the advocate has no direct or indirect clinical or administrative responsibility for any recipient of mental health services in any mental health facility, program, or service for which he or she performs advocacy activities.

(e) “County patients’ rights advocate” means an advocate appointed, or whose services are contracted for, by a local mental health director.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 144, Sec. 97. (AB 1847) Effective January 1, 2015.)