You need to know your rights in order to exercise them. Exercising your rights means taking action when you believe you are being treated unfairly by anyone, and doing what is necessary to make sure your rights are respected.

~Your Rights As a Vermonter Diagnosed as Having a Mental Illness

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI)


To protect and advocate for persons with “serious mental illness” in order to prevent or redress abuse, neglect and serious rights violations, including violations of state, federal and Constitutional law.


A person that has a significant “mental illness or emotional impairment” as determined by a mental health professional.


Priority 1: Investigate individual cases of abuse, neglect, and serious rights violations in inpatient facilities (VSH, designated hospitals, designated agencies, emergency rooms, facilities for minors), prisons/jails, and community settings. 

Measure of Success:

Priority 2:  Reduce the use of seclusion, restraint, coercion and involuntary procedures through systemic efforts. Continue systemic work to create culturally competent, trauma-informed, violence free and coercion free mental health treatment environments.

Measures of Success:

Priority 3: Reach out to community settings, designated facilities, emergency rooms, prisons/jails, residential and therapeutic care homes. Monitor conditions and educate residents about rights and self-advocacy. Engage in systems work to improve conditions.

Measure of Success:

Priority 4: Advocate for self-determination and access to alternative treatment options and community integration.  Use legal advocacy to enforce and expand rights across the State of Vermont. 

Measure of Success:

In addition to priorities, DRVT does not ignore evolving situations and other cases, or treatment facilities which require attention.