Mental Health

Below are detailed descriptions of reportable adverse events, grouped by state or federal agency. Answer the question that appears beneath EACH description. When you're finished, click View Reporting Instructions to move to the next page.

Department of Mental Health


DMH requires you to report instances of the following (often referred to as “above the line” events):

  • Medicolegal death (including suspected or confirmed suicides and homicides),
  • Attempted suicide which results in serious physical injury,
  • Sexual assault or abuse (including patient-on-patient incidents),
  • Physical assault or abuse (including patient-on-patient incidents),
  • Felony,
  • Restraint or seclusion practice not in accordance with DMH regulations which results in serious physical injury, or
  • Any incident that the person in charge (the person with day-to-day management of the program or facility) believes is sufficiently serious or complicated as to require an investigation by DMH.

Other serious events that licensed facilities/programs should report include:

  • Serious injuries to a patient requiring medical treatment in an emergency room,
  • Any incident/complaint that you are aware of that has been reported to Dept. of Children and Families (DCF), Dept. of Youth Services (DYS), or Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC), whether or not it stems from an event at your facility, and
  • Any incident/complaint that in the judgment of the program director, should be communicated to the Licensing Office. Examples include (but are not limited to):
    • police being called to the unit,
    • fires and floods that require relocation,
    • outbreaks of contagious disease,
    • investigations by other state agencies such as DCF and DPPC.

Remember that in addition to the patient safety events listed above, DMH requires that you follow a formal process for handling and investigating complaints. That process should be familiar and adhered to by facilities and programs.

Note also that DMH-operated hospitals, community mental health centers with inpatient units, and psychiatric units within public health hospitals; DMH-contracted inpatient units for adults, children or adolescents, and DMH-licensed intensive residential treatment programs for adolescents should be familiar with a number of more specific requirements related to critical incident reporting contained in Commissioner's Directive #23.

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