Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.
The Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC) provides a free and confidential legal service to anyone who has experienced mental illness in Victoria where their legal problem relates to their mental illness.
All centre activities aim to promote the rights of people who experience mental illness. The Centre is a non-profit organisation run by an independent Board of Governance.
We can assist with telephone legal advice and referral and general inquiries about mental health and the law for mental health consumers in Victoria. Please see the Our Services page for what we do and don't do.
The Mental Health Legal Centre is part of a network of Community Legal Centres located throughout Victoria and Australia. Community Legal Centres provide a three-tiered approach to the law, through casework, community legal education and law reform/policy.
Telephone Advice Line
If you need to talk to a lawyer, please call our telephone advice line on (03) 9629 4422 or 1800 555 887 (freecall for country callers only) during the following times:
Tuesday 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Thursday 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Please note that this service is only available to Victorian mental health consumers (or representatives provided we have obtained consumer permission to speak on their behalf) about their own issues.
The Centre can accept reverse charge calls in an emergency.
Donate to MHLC
Tax deductible donations can be made directly via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or by cheque.
To make a donation, please download and fill out a donation form by clicking here. Send your completed form to: PO Box 12365, A'Beckett Street Melbourne VIC 8006, or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How will your donation help?
Your donation will enable the MHLC to continue its critical work in assisting and supporting people with mental illness through independent specialist legal advice and representation, education and systemic advocacy and while it continues to seek ongoing funding from alternative sources.
In March 2013 the Victorian Parliamentary Law Reform Committee singled out specialist community legal centres like the MHLC as an important means of providing access to justice for people with disabilities.
The demand for specialist mental health legal services is only expected to grow with the introduction of Victoria's new Mental Health Act on 1 July 2014.
For information about MHLC's funding cuts, read the MHLC's Guest Blog (3 April 2013) for the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Blog about why funding cuts jeopardise access to justice for people with experience of mental illness. You can also check out the Federation of Community Legal Centre’s campaign in support of the MHLC or follow the Federation on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CommunitylawVic (@CommunitylawVic)
MHLC would like to acknowledge the generous support already received from:
- Jon Webster, Partner, Allens, one of our pro bono partner firms
- Julian Burnside QC
History of MHLC
20/20 Hindsight: A History of the Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.
Please download a PDF flyer outlining the history of the organisation here.
Brochure on Mental Health Legal Centre
We are currently updating our MHLC Brochure and hopefully will be able to forward copies to interested parties in the New Year.
If you would like multiple copies of the MHLC brochure to be posted to your organisation, please contact us on (03) 9629 4422 or 1800 555 887 (country callers) or via email at email@example.com.
Women's safety in psychiatric wards (15 May 2013)
MHLC's media release is in response to recent media reports of women's traumatic experiences in Victorian psychiatric wards, having been subjected to sexual and other assault and harassment. We stress the need for all women and girls to have a choice of receiving inpatient treatment in a female-only environment as one means of addressing women's safety and call for independent evaluation and monitoring of this and other interventions to improve women's safety. We highlight the need for the proposed new Mental Health Complaints Commissioner to be adequately funded and independent and to have stronger investigative and enforcement powers to address these systemic issues of safety and abuse.
Read MHLC's media release here.
For more information about women's safety in psychiatric wards and links to the recent media reports, click here.
This Web site has been created by the Mental Health Legal Centre Inc. as an educational and information resource. You should not treat such general information over the internet as being good or sufficient legal advice for any particular situation. If you find yourself in need of information about your legal rights and obligations, you should consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.