Your Rights As a Consumer
Mental Health, Developmental Disability
Substance Abuse Services

A Summary of the Provisions of Article 3 of
Chapter 122C of the North Carolina General Statutes

Prepared By:

The Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities,
and Substance Abuse Services
North Carolina Department of Human Resources

When you receive mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse services you have certain rights.

As a consumer of mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse services, you have the right to be treated with respect. You have the right to dignity, privacy, humane care, and freedom from mental and physical abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  You have the right to live as normally as possible while receiving care and treatment.

You have the same civil rights as any other citizen of North Carolina, unless a court decision has taken away some of your rights.  This may include the right to vote, marry, divorce, make a will, buy sell and own property, and decide all things about your life.

You have certain specific rights related to your care, services, and treatment.
These rights include the following:

  1. in an emergency; or
  2. Involuntary commitment, which is a legal proceeding in which it is determined that without the treatment, a person would be likely to harm self or others.

You have certain specific rights if you disagree with Appalachian Community Services (ACS) or your provider about the services that you need.

Authorization for a service you are requesting may be denied, or authorization for a service you are currently receiving may be reduced, suspended, or terminated if ACS finds that you do not meet the certain requirements for the service.

If you are a Medicaid recipient, you have the right to appeal such decisions and you will be provided with written information concerning your appeal rights.

If you are not a Medicaid recipient:

You will receive a letter it your service is denied due to a finding by ACS that you do not meet the clinical requirements for the service or if funding for the services is not available.

If you disagree with the decision and wish to have it reconsidered, you may file a complaint with ACS Customer Services within 10 clays of the date of the letter notifying that services were not authorized. To file a complaint, call 1-800-555-1212 or write:

ACS Customer Services. P.O. Box 444, Murphy, NC 28906

You shall be notified of the decision within 7 days of the date that you tile your complaint.

You have the right to complain if you feel:

Customer Service staff are available during normal business hours to assist you with your concern.  If you would prefer not to be identified as the source of a complaint, Customer Service staff will protect your identity unless legally required to do otherwise.  Usually complaints can be resolved informally, but if necessary, ACS will conduct a formal investigation or refer to an appropriate agency for investigation.


It there is any information herein that you do not understand, please ask for help. You may ask the person responsible for your care, such as your therapist, teacher, aide, group home or the facility director.

If at any time, for any reason you feel that that you have been denied your rights, or that you cannot get the information or help you need from people in our facility, you may want to contact a family member or friend, or contact a client advocate or attorney.  You can also get help about your rights from:

Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities at 1-800-821-6922.
Advocacy and Customer Services-Division of MH/DD/SAS at 919-715-3197.
The N.C. Mental Health Consumer's Organization. Inc. at 1-800-326-3842.

The N.C.CARELINE 1-800-662-7030.

Each of these toll-free numbers is open Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 5:00pm

For your information: If you are interested in initiating a Health Care Power of Attorney and Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment your therapist or case manager can help you.

You may also contact your local Department of Social Services Office:

Clay County     1-828-389-6301          Haywood County     1-828-452-6620

Cherokee County     1-828-837-7455          Jackson County     1-828-586-5546

Graham County     1-828-479-7911          Macon County     1-828-349-2124

Swain County     1-828-488-6921