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Ombudsman Office

The Ombudsman Office serves as a neutral and confidential intermediary and provides an informal process to support District residents in resolving complaints related to DBH programs, services and its certified providers.  We educate consumers on the DBH process for accessing behavioral health services. We can, with the permission of the consumer, contact the DBH provider on their behalf to address their complaint.  The Ombudsman Office will provide referrals to other government offices, when the concern is not under the jurisdiction of DBH.

The Ombudsman’s Office will:   

  • Provide consumers of DBH services with options to resolve their concerns regarding service provision. This includes providing information on the three options for resolution: filing a complaint, filing a grievance or requesting an Administrative Hearing.
  • Refer and communicate with Administrations within DBH to address concerns regarding abuse, neglect or fraud of consumers who utilize DBH related services
  • Utilize information from our complaints data base to provide data to the Director of DBH on areas for improvement and gaps in the current System of Care (SoC).
  • Use each experience with DBH or a DBH provider to ascertain if DBH established protocols were adhered to during service delivery.
  • Provide recommendations for possible areas for improvement of services or systemic changes to the law, policy and the behavioral health system of care.
  • DC residents can reach our office by phone at (844) 698-2924 or by using the Compliance Line at 1-800-345-5564 (for anonymous calls). We can also be reached via email at [email protected].

Outreach and Education  
The Ombudsman Office conducts outreach to District residents and DC organizations and community stakeholders as appropriate. The outreach efforts consists of educating consumers, providers and non-profits on the process of accessing behavioral health services and DBH services. 

Patricia Thompson, Ombudsman Program Officer 
[email protected] 
(202) 741-5884 

Nicole D. Lawrence, LICSW, Ombudsman Program Specialist  
[email protected] 
(202) 535-1545  





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