Member Groups

Mental Health Matters
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Mental Health Law Section

March 2015, vol. 1, no. 1

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the first newsletter of the Mental Health Law Section Council. Mental health issues affect the broken-hearted with broken dreams from broken families as well as stable, affluent families. As an attorney, you will most likely have to deal with clients or colleagues with a variety of mental illnesses. Mental health issues often pop up in tort actions, divorce cases, elder law, employment law, school law, medical malpractice cases, criminal matters, etc. More people are being diagnosed with mental illnesses than ever before. Our goal is to educate ourselves and others to the challenges faced in the mental health community when interacting with persons with mental illness, providers, professional associations, governmental agencies, the legislature and the judiciary.

The Mission of the Mental Health Law Section Council is to:

• Review proposed and existing statutes, legislation, rules and court decisions affecting persons with mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders and developmental and intellectual disabilities and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning these matters;

• Provide training and education to lawyers concerning the interaction between mental illnesses and developmental and intellectual disabilities and the law and legal practice;

• Provide information to mental health professionals and the public concerning laws and rules affecting persons with mental illnesses and developmental and intellectual disabilities; and

• Collaborate with other professional and advocacy organizations to promote improved knowledge about mental illnesses and mental health and to increase mental health services.

The Council’s work covers a wide variety of issues such as: homelessness, institutional and community services, and the court system, which includes the criminal justice system.

The Council strives to have a diversity of members who practice in the areas of mental health and developmental and intellectual disabilities. Traditionally, our membership includes attorneys representing (1) persons with mental illnesses and intellectual and developmental disabilities, (2) community providers and hospitals, (3) professional associations, (4) state and local government agencies and (5) others whose work involves persons with mental illnesses and developmental and intellectual disabilities. The Council also includes a small number of mental health professionals who are not attorneys.

We welcome all attorneys to join our Council and read our newsletters.

 

Thank you,

Scott Hammer ■