Social Services
Mental Health

What is an Ombuds?

An Ombuds is a helper whose job it is to assist you to solve problems you may have with your counselor, case manager, your mental health clinic, or the agencies that help you get mental health care.

What is the purpose of the Ombuds?

Ombuds receive concerns and grievances and assist in quickly resolving them at the lowest possible level. The Ombuds person also acts as an information service for consumers.

Am I eligible to get Ombuds services?

Thurston and Mason County residents who receive or are eligible for publicly funded mental health services may request Ombuds services. Concerns may also be taken from family members and other interested parties.

What will it cost me to have an Ombuds?

There are no fees.

What can the Ombuds do for me?

  • Listen to your problem.
  • Analyze what is involved and help you determine an appropriate solution.
  • Explain and Investigate facts, laws, policies, and procedures.
  • Mediate to resolve the problem on an informal level, if possible.
  • Assist you in the complaint and grievance process and follow through until the complaint is resolved.
  • Assure that your concerns are heard in the way in which you want them heard, clearly and unemotionally.
  • Advocate for your mental health treatment choices and rights.
  • Remain in contact with you to see that you are kept informed until the concern or grievance is resolved.
  • Provide information on resources and your rights.
  • Recommend changes to correct a problem or prevent future occurrences.
  • Maintain your confidentiality.

How do I apply?

Call, write, or visit the office. See contact information below.

What canít the Ombuds do for me?

  • Cannot provide services such as counseling or case management
  • Cannot give you legal advice or act as your attorney
  • Cannot ensure any specific outcome
  • Cannot represent you as an attorney does

What can I do to help resolve my complaint?

  • Be prepared to tell who, what, when, and where of the problem;
  • Know what you want to have happen;
  • Consider what would be a fair remedy;
  • Keep the Ombuds informed on how you can be contacted.
  • Keep the Ombuds informed of changes which effect the problem and its solution.

How do I contact the Ombuds when I need help?


(360) 867-2556 or (800) 658-4105

Email the Ombuds

Write or Come In

Public Health and Social Services
Attn: Ombuds
412 Lilly Road NE
Olympia, WA 98506

Download the Ombuds Brochure: English or Spanish [PDF]

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This page last updated: 07/26/16