Generally speaking a family’s rights to information are dependent on the expressed wishes of the person with mental health difficulties. However, it is different for the parents or guardians of children and adolescents, as their role is clearly defined in legislation.
As family or a carer you have the right to:
A safe environment
Be involved in your relative’s care with their consent
Visit your relative at times that are convenient to both you and them (if they are in in-patient care)
Be treated respectfully and considerately
Receive clear responses to queries you make
Make a complaint and know its outcome
Refuse to participate in teaching or research at any time
You also have the right to the following information:
Legal rights and entitlements
Names and qualifications of those treating your relative
Significant events (including transfers) involving your relative
If an in-patient, plans for your relative to be discharged (sent home) into your care
Explanation of the cost of care
Equally you have the responsibility to:
Give accurate information
Co-operate with investigation of any complaint you make
Consider and respect others
Respect confidentiality – this means clear boundaries are in place regarding family involvement. Communication between families and the mental health service is in accordance with the wishes of the service user. Families or chosen friends/ carers receive information about: what services are available, how they work and how to access them, especially in a crisis.
Meet any financial obligations
And if your loved one is an in-patient:
Refrain from bringing in any alcohol or other harmful substances
Comply with staff direction in matters of safety and visitation policies
Abide by other rules made known to you
HSE.ie provides information on communicating effectively with health care professionals and information on health services.
Content provided by Shine and adapted for YourMentalHealth.ie by the National Office for Suicide Prevention. Find out more about our content partnerships.