Reporting Abuse or Neglect
Reporting Suspected Adult Mental Health Abuse to Jackson County Mental HealthTo report suspected abuse of an adult with a mental health issue during business and non-business hours, call 541-770-7707. This number has a secure voice mailbox. Callers should leave a message with all pertinent information or leave their contact information for a return call from a screener during business hours.
Priority: The priority in any incident of suspected abuse to a vulnerable person needs to be ensuring the safety of the alleged victim. If an immediate response is needed to ensure the vulnerable person’s safety, or if evidence regarding an incident of abuse may need to be collected, call local law enforcement. If you feel there is imminent risk, please call 911.
Timeframe: Always report as soon as possible after receiving/becoming aware of something that you suspect might be abuse.
Leaving a message: If I leave a message at 541-770- 7707, how do I know if my report has been received?
You will be contacted as soon as possible by a screener from Jackson County Mental Health. Remember, if an immediate response is needed to ensure safety or needed for evidence collection, do not leave a message, hang up and call law enforcement.
Leaving a message on the Jackson County Mental Health voicemail at 541-770-7707 counts as a mandatory report. Please leave sufficient information so that a screener can initiate protective service coordination and information gathering and can contact you for further information.
When you make a report of possible abuse that leads to an investigation, you won’t necessarily be informed of the outcome. State law limits who has access to that information.
Below are some general guidelines to help you ascertain if the suspected abuse should be reported to Jackson County Mental Health. These are general guidelines and are not intended for you to determine if an allegation will be screened in and/or investigated. You will most likely not have all the information to decide, so please always call the experts when in doubt.
How to report other suspected abuse types:
Aged (65+) and Disabled
Adult Protective Services - 541-618-7853
Jackson County Developmental Disability Program: 541-774-8205
24-hour Child Abuse Reporting Hotline: 1-855-503-SAFE (7233)*
*The 24-hour Oregon Child Abuse Reporting Hotline (ORCAH) can also be used to report any concern of abuse regarding a person with a mental health issue, a person who is elderly, or a person with a developmental disability. ORCAH screeners then generate a cross-report to the pertinent agency (including Jackson County Mental Health) for follow-up.
TIPS for Reporting Suspected Adult Mental Health AbuseOur first concern upon receiving a report is for the health and safety of the alleged victim and whether any protective services need to be provided. Although not directly responsible for providing protective services, the Jackson County Mental Health screener will help coordinate support and services needed to ensure the alleged victim’s safety.
If it is believed a crime has been committed, Jackson County Mental Health screeners are required by law to make a report to law enforcement or ensure a report is made within 24 hours of receipt of the abuse report.
WHO do we investigate?
The state of Oregon mandates that we investigate “abuses within services,” meaning we investigate allegations against mental health service providers and caregivers when the victim is receiving Oregon Health Plan funded services and meets other criteria. This can include case managers, therapists, psychiatric medical staff, guardians, representative payees, in-home personal caregivers, and even family members in some circumstances. The state’s definition of “caregiver” is broad and open to interpretation, which often requires extra scrutiny.
WHAT do we investigate?
- Financial Exploitation
- Involuntary Seclusion
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Verbal Abuse
- Wrongful Restraint
WHAT criteria must be met to give us the authority to investigate?
Is the alleged victim:
- 18 years old or older
- Receiving services from a Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) paid for directly or indirectly by the Oregon Health Authority, or living in a mental health licensed residential program
- Currently Diagnosed with one of the following Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) diagnoses: Schizophrenia or other Psychotic Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder
Is the accused person:
- A paid or unpaid caregiver
- A mental health service provider
- A caregiver in a mental health licensed residential program
Some common circumstances that do not meet the criteria:
Domestic Violence: Unless the accused person qualifies as a caregiver for the alleged victim, this will not meet the criteria.
Self-Neglect: When an individual is at risk due to their own inability to manage their activities of daily living adequately enough to maintain their health, safety and well-being, this will not meet the criteria.
Who are mandatory reporters?Mandatory reporters are public and private professionals required by law to report suspected child abuse or abuse to vulnerable adult populations, such as adults who are elderly, adults living with a severe and persistent mental illness, adults living with a physical disability, or adults living with a developmental disability.
Mandatory reporters include:
- Any Public or Private official
- Medical Professionals, including Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists; Healthcare Workers
- Licensed Psychologists, Therapist, Counselors, and Social Workers
- Foster parents
- Police Offices and Firefighters
- Private and Public School Employees
- Oregon Department of Human Services Employees
- Child Care Providers and Employees
Exceptions to mandatory reporting: A psychiatrist, psychologist, attorney, or member of the clergy does not have to report privileged information covered under ORS 40.225 to 40.295. An attorney is not required to make a report of information communicated to the attorney in the course of representing a client if disclosure of the information would be detrimental to the client. EXCLUDED from Mandatory Reporting: employees of community-based, nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is to provide confidential, direct services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking. ORS 430.765 refers to ORS 40.225 (Rule 503. Lawyer-client privilege; Rule 514. Effect on existing privileges)
Please reference Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 430.765: Duty of Officials to Report Abuse for more information.