Complaints and ombudsman services

Complaints

You can file a complaint or concern about a behavioral health facility with the Department of Health (DOH). Find and download complaint forms and review their frequently asked question (FAQs) for more information.

Incidents

Serious and emergent incidents are defined as:

  • A death, serious injury, or assault at a DSHS-certified facility.
  • An escape or unauthorized leave of a violent or mentally ill offender.
  • Client abuse or neglect by a DSHS employee, volunteer, contractor, or client
  • A natural disaster, bomb threat, burglary, or theft that could threaten client safety or confidentiality.

To report an incident about a behavioral health facility, complete the behavioral health incident report form and return it to:

​Steve Cazel
Incident manager
Phone: 360-725-3706
Email: steve.cazel@hca.wa.gov

Ombudsman services

Behavioral health organizations (BHOs) must demonstrate effective mechanisms for reviewing consumer complaints. A complaint is an informal verbal or written statement by a consumer, family member, or other consumer representative, which expresses dissatisfaction with some aspect of mental health services or lack thereof. 

The complaint may be filed with a community mental health agency, the regional support network prepaid inpatient health plan, or the ombudsman services. 

The goal is to bring resolution to the complaint at the lowest possible level. The regional support network must encourage resolution of complaints at the lowest possible level.

Find contact information for the ombudsman in your county on the BHO contact list.