State Office of Consumer Affairs & Peer Recovery Services

 

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services:

  • Administers TDMHSAS's Ombudsman Program to investigate and resolve complaints for recipients of mental health services.
  • Operates a Helpline to assist individuals diagnosed with mental illness and co-occurring disorders and their families in accessing a wide array of services within their community.
  • Administers the Peer Recovery Specialist Certification Program for mental health, substance use or co-occurring consumers employed within the mental health care system to provide direct peer-to-peer services. Click here for more information on the state certification program.
     

Helpline

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services Helpline offers direct, individualized support and assistance to individuals who are experiencing problems accessing services and supports with the goal of enhancing outcomes and the well-being of consumers. To accomplish this, staff investigates and resolves complaints for service recipients, answers the Helpline and triages calls and provides links to services and information on mental health and substance abuse resources. The program ensures compliance with state and federal laws that prohibit unfair treatment through the confidential handling of complaints. Through the helpline,  staff helps to resolve problems by mediating the concerns of each person involved in the situation. The helpline accepts statewide calls.


The helpline staff helps service recipients and their families resolve questions or problems. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services Helpline offers direct assistance to individuals who are experiencing issues accessing mental health or substance abuse services and supports.

What can be done for me?
The Ombudsman mediates the concerns of each person involved in a specific situation and may serve as an advocate for the service recipients, the family, the state or the provider when appropriate. The concerns of the service recipient are always addressed first.

For the service recipient, we will:

  • Take time to listen to concerns
  • Assist in problem resolution
     
  • Inform persons of their rights and responsibilities as a recipient of services in Tennessee
     

For families and friends, we will:

 

  • Provide information regarding alternatives
     
  • Provide information regarding access to services and supports
     
  • Suggest referrals to other agencies


When should I contact the Helpline?

  • When service recipients or their families cannot resolve their issues through consultation with the facility staff or governmental agencies involved.
     
  • When someone is in need of mental health or substance abuse services and doesn’t have access to health insurance.


What services are available through the Helpline?
Consumer advocates assist individuals with mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, or alcohol and drug abuse problems and their families to locate a wide array of support services within their community.

The Helpline maintains a knowledge base of current information on statewide contacts and resources, and consults with the mental health community, advocates and TDMHSAS.

Consumer Advocates are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Central), Monday through Friday.
Toll-free: (800)-560-5767
E-mail: OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov