2-15-210. Mental health ombudsman. (1) There is a mental health ombudsman. The ombudsman must be appointed by the governor for a term of 4 years. The ombudsman is attached to the office of the governor for administrative purposes.
(2) The ombudsman shall provide an annual report to the governor and to the legislature, as required by 5-11-210, and may include recommendations regarding the mental health system.
(3) The ombudsman shall represent the interests of individuals with regard to the need for public mental health services, including individuals in transition from public to private services. The ombudsman may not provide a legal advocacy service.
(4) The ombudsman may retain counsel for legal support.
(5) Names of individuals receiving assistance from the ombudsman and information associated with an individual compiled by the ombudsman in the course of conducting an investigation are confidential and privileged information and may not be disclosed unless a court has determined that certain information is subject to compulsory legal process or discovery because the party seeking the information has demonstrated that there is a compelling state interest that outweighs the individual's privacy interest or the information is requested pursuant to an investigative subpoena issued under 46-4-301.
History: En. Sec. 13, Ch. 577, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 544, L. 2001.