People with a mental illness (and people such as carers, organisations, service providers and other members of the public ringing on behalf of a person with a mental illness) may contact the Mental Health Law Centre for free legal advice and representation; and for general information and education materials, about legal issues directly connected with mental illness.
The Centre’s funding constraints means that it is funded to provide formal legal advice and/or representation only to people with a mental illness and not to family members, support network members or carers. However, there is nothing to stop family members sharing in advice to clients or supporting a client when attending our lawyers, where our client consents to such inclusion, or when the other person is a guardian or administrator – in some limited situations. Anyone may ring for general legal information or to obtain copies of our publications. We encourage lawyers to ring for guidance through mental health laws, which they are not familiar with. If the person with a mental illness refuses legal assistance when someone caring for them or responsible for them thinks that they need it, that person can ring us to discuss how we could facilitate that help.
The Centre provides a limited program for telephone advice by appointment. When we are unable to assist someone with an inquiry, we provide referrals to other legal and non-legal services where there is a suitable body for such referral.