When you hear a story about someone being detained in a psychiatric hospital against their will, receiving treatment without their consent and feeling helpless to make a change or get back home, you hope that the system is treating them fairly and providing an excellent standard of care.
- What are their human and statutory rights?
- Who understands the legalities of the mental health system well enough to make sure they are afforded these rights?
- Who does something about it when they are not?
- Who works to encourage government to make fair laws that affect people with a mental illness?
It has been said that justice discriminates because it is for those who can afford it. Many people requiring legal help, cannot afford a private lawyer, and may not qualify for other forms of legal assistance.
The Mental Health Law Centre promotes and protects the human rights of people with mental illness through the provision of free legal advice and representation, community legal education sessions, and the formulation of law and policy reform. We are the only law service in Western Australia that specialises in laws affecting persons with a mental illness. Through education and service, we work towards the reduction of the shocking and unfair stigma associated with mental illness.
There is a high demand for the legal services of the Centre. Unfortunately, we have to turn away people needing legal help because of our lack of resources.
Justice, Fairness and Equity for people with a mental illness
Our Values (en relation to people with a mental illness)
- Justice and compassion
- Excellence in the practice of law
- Empowerment and involvement
- Working with others in collaborative community relationships.
How you can improve access to justice?
A gift to the Mental Health Law Centre can help us extend our legal and education services. Significant donations could help us with funding permanent premises (minimum space requirement of 320 m2). Rent monies could then support more solicitors. Small gifts could, for example, help or sponsor our fish tank (calming for our clients waiting to see their lawyer).
We encourage your donations to help us preserve the rights of those of us who are amongst the most vulnerable.