Public Policy

Communicating with Hospitals and Mental Health Professionals

If your relative/friend has been hospitalized . . .

Naturally, you are concerned and have an understandable desire for information. You may also have helpful information to share. In fact, it is likely that no one knows the situation like you do.

If the patient is 18 or over, confidentiality laws protect his/her right to privacy. This means that your relative, partner or friend must authorize the treatment facility to contact or disclose information to you before they are allowed to involve you in these ways. A separate Release of Confidential Information form must be signed for each admission, and for each individual seeking to be involved in the care. Ask your loved one if they will add you to their list of individuals authorized to speak to their providers. Staff at the nurse’s station have this form in your loved one’s files.