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Office of Mental Health

The Office of Consumer Affairs

The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) is staffed by individuals who bring their expertise not only from work skills and formal education, but through awareness and experience of being former or current recipients of mental health services.

About OCA

The OCA consists of two Bureaus that tackle unique issues and services affecting various targeted groups and integral parts of the mental health system. These Bureaus provide, but are not limited to, advocacy, trainings, technical assistance and peer support.

Bureau of Recipient Affairs concentrates on all systemic issues regarding recipients of mental health services.

Bureau of Family Affairs speaks to the unique issues involving family members of those individuals receiving services from the mental health system.

Areas of Activity

The Office of Consumer Affairs works to include recipients in all the decisions made about their services and supports. Our focus is to better understand the people we serve.

OCA collaborates with

  • recipient groups
  • family groups
  • individuals
  • key stakeholders

OCA provides opportunities for recipients and their families to effect change in NYS Office of Mental Health policies. The OCA believes in the importance of self–help, peer support, and the potential for each person to pursue their unique recovery goals.

Participate in our consumer survey and let us know what’s important to you.

Regional Advocacy Specialists

Regional Advocacy Specialists (RAS), work out of the OMH field offices throughout New York State. They are active in their local communities, raising awareness of recovery, self–help and empowerment.

An RAS must have lived experience and an outstanding knowledge of the mental health system. This lived experience allows them to bring their own individualized expertise to their job role.

Regional Advocacy Specialists are “change agents” and the “heart” of government.


Comments or questions about the information on this page, including accessibility issues, can be directed to the Office of Consumer Affairs.