Rights for People With Mental Illness

Medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on March 12, 2024
1 min read

People with mental illness are entitled to fair treatment, and they should:

  • Be treated with respect and dignity
  • Have their privacy protected
  • Receive services appropriate for their age and culture
  • Understand treatment options and alternatives
  • Get care that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, or type of illness

Laws that may cover their rights include:

Americans with Disabilities Act. This law protects people who have physical and mental disabilities from discrimination in employment, government services and activities, public accommodations, public transportation, and commercial businesses.

Fair Housing Amendments Act. This act outlaws housing discrimination on the basis of certain conditions, including disability. Landlords and owners of rental housing must make reasonable attempts to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. Under this law, the U.S. government can investigate government facilities (such as institutions) for people with mental and physical disabilities in order to make sure that they are safe and get appropriate care.  

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law is designed to help children with disabilities get a quality education. Under the law, public school systems must create an education plan for each child with a disability, based on their needs.