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It is very important that the people we work with receive quality services and are treated with dignity and respect at all times. If you are unhappy with the quality of your experience at Crisis and Counseling Centers, we want to hear about it. Below is the procedure you may use to express your concerns.

Crisis and Counseling Centers’ Complaint and Grievance Policy


We take complaints and grievances very seriously as information about how we can improve our overall performance and address your specific concerns. You will not be denied services because of a complaint or grievance or be subject to any kind of recriminatory comments or discriminatory behavior due to having filed a complaint or grievance. We want to hear your concerns.


  • The first step you may choose to express your concerns is an informal complaint that can be expressed in writing and/or verbally. You may want to speak to an employee about your concern specifically, or you may ask to speak with a supervisor.
  • Crisis and Counseling Centers will investigate each complaint and attempt to resolve the issue to the complainant’s satisfaction.
  • You can ask for a written summary of the investigation specifically addressing the findings and action taken.


  • Individuals may wish to file a formal grievance due to possible violation of basic rights, including any right defined in the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services or any other applicable law or regulation.
  • A client or their parents, guardians, custodians, attorney, designated representative, a representative from the DHHS Office of Advocacy, or representative from the Disability Rights Center, may file a formal grievance.
  • Grievances may be filed when it is felt that a client has been subjected to any questionable or inappropriate treatment or method of providing treatment.
  • A grievance can be filed at any time and does not need to be preceded by a complaint.
  • All clients/guardians will be notified of their right to due process with regard to grievances upon entering treatment and at the time of the annual update.
  • Grievance forms are available at all Crisis and Counseling Centers’ locations. Employees will provide information and assistance to clients/guardians regarding the process of filing a complaint or grievance.
  • If a client/guardian has a complaint or grievance about the agency, the procedures for resolving that grievance will be as follows:
    • The agency staff person receiving the complaint or grievance will immediately refer the grievant to the Program Director or designee, who will inform the grievant of his/her due process rights under the law and explain the informal complaint and formal grievance processes available. Documentation of the complaint/grievance will be made in the clinical record.
    • If the informal complaint process is chosen, the Program Director or designee will document the complaint in writing and attempt to resolve the issues to the complainant’s satisfaction.
    • If a successful resolution cannot be achieved at the agency level, the complainant will be provided information and assistance, if desired, in filing a formal grievance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in accordance with procedures established by DHHS.
    • At a minimum, all grievants will be provided with the DHHS Grievance Form, which must be completed and submitted to DHHS to begin the formal grievance resolution process for a child or adolescent recipient. Crisis and Counseling Centers’ Chief Executive Officer will be notified of the grievance.
    • When the handling of an informal complaint or grievance has been completed, the complaint or grievance will be forwarded to the agency’s Incident Committee for review.
    • When the Incident Committee has completed its review of the written complaint/grievance, the Chief Executive Officer or designee will place all associated documentation in a secure and confidential location.
    • For a complete explanation of the grievance process for children and adolescents receiving services under the auspices of DHHS, see the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services Who Are Children in Need of Treatment.
    • For complaints/grievances involving adult recipients, the following apply:
      • The Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services directs handling of the three levels of grievances for adults as follows:
        • Level I: Agency
          Program Director, Chief Executive Officer, or designee will document the grievance in writing if it is not already and will make a formal written response within five (5) working days of receipt of the grievance. A five-day extension of time is available as long as the grievant is notified of such. If a resolution has been achieved, the Chief Executive Office or designee will follow up with the recipient/guardian to ensure resolution and will write a summary of all actions taken regarding the grievance. If a resolution has not been achieved, the grievant may appeal to Level II.
        • Level II: Adult Services Program Manager
        • Level III: Commissioner of DHHS

For further detail on Levels II and III and for a complete explanation of the grievance process for adults receiving services under the auspices of DHHS, see the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services.

Grievances may be filed with:

11 State House Station – 221 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011

This is a guide (copied from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services website) to the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services Grievance Process. The purpose of this guide is to help you understand the process and to file a grievance if you believe that your rights have been violated.

The best way to protect your rights is to know what they are. At the end of the guide you will find a list of your basic rights and information about getting a copy of the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services (RRMHS). There is also a list of agencies you can contact for more information about your rights and the grievance process.

For help with understanding the grievance process, contact Mae L’Heureux, (207) 287-4255.

(last updated on 5/16/23)


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