The Commissioner’s Offices support the department-at-large with legal, legislative, investigative issues, as well as, protect the rights of the people we serve and promote mental health in our state.
The Chief of Staff supports the commissioner in managing and monitoring several key areas of the department regarding major policies or issues facing the department. Often engaged in special assignments, the chief of staff serves as one of the main advisors to the commissioner. The chief of staff supervises the activities of The Office of Legislative & Constituent Affairs.
The Bureau of Special Investigations primarily investigates offenses of a criminal nature and initiates prosecution in cases where evidence indicates criminal acts by employees and others. The office is also responsible for advising and assisting facility police during investigations when requested and conducting training seminars as needed. The office conducts background investigations on persons seeking to provide services for consumers placed in the community as well.
The Bureau of Legal Services represents the department in various lawsuits, plans legal strategies and protects the department’s interests in its efforts to provide mental illness, intellectual disability and substance abuse services. Staff in the office are available to advise departmental employees on situations with legal implications, answer questions and develop appropriate responses to questions posed by the public, the news media and others.
The Office of Internal Audit was established to enforce the state and federal guidelines for audit reporting, audit procurement and contract compliance for entities that receive or expend funds from/through the Alabama Department of Mental Health. The office provides independent and objective audit, investigative and consultant services to the programs and leadership of ADMH to add value and improve operations.
The Office of Public Information strives to create awareness and educate the public about the department’s mission and initiatives, as well as other mental health related issues through printed materials, the web and audio/visual presentations. Public Information develops public education media campaigns (much the same as an ad agency) designed to overcome stigma often faced by consumers. In addition, when there are issues of interest to the media, the staff drafts responses on behalf of the department.
The Office of Rights Protection and Advocacy, working out of five service area offices around the state and in ADMH central office, provides a non-adversarial system of rights protection and advocacy that focuses on rights awareness and prevention of rights violations for consumers. Advocates provide services such as information and referral, rights complaint investigations and resolutions, state facility compliance monitoring, community program certification services, and rights education and training programs.