What We Do
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Staff of the Bridges Behavioral Health Ombuds (BHO) will listen to concerns and complaints from clients, family members, and other interested parties and assist with the following:
- Researching client rights relating to the client’s concern
- Filing a grievance with a provider or the Salish Behavioral Health Organization. If needed, we also follow through to be sure that the grievance is resolved and that you are kept informed of the process.
- Provide advocacy to help ensure that the client’s choices and rights are respected.
- Help appeal an adverse determination.
- When allowable, assist in preparing for a State of Washington Fair Hearing.
Click here for a printable brochure of all information contained in this webpage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Behavioral Health Ombuds?
Behavioral Health is a term used to describe mental health and/or addiction and substance use disorders. The Behavioral Health Ombuds were created by Washington State to help bridge the gap between Behavioral Health clients and their providers. The Ombuds’ primary goal is to help providers and clients work together to ensure dignified, quality service. The Ombuds is a peer-based program, meaning that we have lived experience in Behavioral Health systems.
Am I eligible?
Ombuds serve residents of Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap Counties who receive Medicaid funded Behavioral Health services, including adult clients, parents or guardians of children up to the age of 13, and youth over the age of 13. Ombuds services are also available to anyone needing information about, or resources for, Behavioral Health services and supports.
The Ombuds do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable laws.
What is the cost?
There is no cost to the clients to use this service.
What is a Mental Health Advance Directive?
A Mental Health Advance Directive is a written document that describes what a client wants to happen if their judgment is impaired and/or they are unable to communicate effectively due to mental illness. It can inform their providers about what treatment they want or do not want. It can also identify the person that they have given authority to make decisions on their behalf. Call the Ombuds to learn more about Mental Health Advance Directives or to schedule an appointment for help completing one.
For more information, go to www.hca.wa.gov/ health-care-services-and-supports/behavioralhealth-recovery/mental-health-advance-directives
How does my Information stay safe?
All communications with the BRIDGES Behavioral Health Ombuds are confidential, in keeping with State and Federal law.
How does my information get released?
Before an Ombuds can talk to anyone but you about your concerns, the law requires that you provide us with a completed and signed Release of Information (ROI). You may download a Release of Information or call the Ombuds to request an ROI. To speed up the process please leave your mailing address when leaving a message.
What CAN’T the Ombuds Service do?
- Provide behavioral health counseling or case management services.
- Obtain information on your behalf without your written consent.
- Give legal advice or represent you as an attorney would.
- Enforce a recommendation.
- Provide Behavioral Health services.
- Guarantee a specific outcome.
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You can reach us using the following contact information.
Confidential Fax: 360.692.1595
Bridges Ombuds Service
9004 Washington Ave. NW
Silverdale, WA 98383
All office services are by appointment only. Ombuds are often out in the community providing service to clients. Leave us a voice mail if we do not answer the phone and we will return your call as soon as possible.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Here are some additional resources:
Mental Health Advocacy & Resources:
- NAMI The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. There are NAMI chapters in Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties. To learn more, visit www.nami.org
- Washington Information Resource Line 2-1-1 or (866) 736-9634
- Washington Recovery Helpline (866) 789-1511
Energy, Housing, and General Assistance:
- Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCap) Jefferson and Clallam Counties (360) 385-2571 or (800) 464-2571
Energy, Housing, Employment, WIC, and Early Learning Assistance: