Member Groups

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

December 2015, vol. 2, no. 1

Letter from the Chair

Chair Barbara Goeben presents a plaque to Scott D. Hammer in recognition of his leadership during the inaugural year of the Mental Health Section Council.Promoting an understanding of mental illness is one of the goals of this newsletter and of this committee. The practice of Mental Health law presents the challenging balance of protecting the rights of those individuals who are diagnosed with a mental illness against the rights of society to protect itself.

This balancing act is something that a majority of legal professionals will face at least once in their career. The prevalence of mental illness is greater than most think. According to the National Institute of Mental Health as of 2013, 10 million U.S. adults (or 4.2 percent) have a serious mental illness which substantially interferes with a major life activity. An estimated 43.8 million U.S. adults (or 18 percent) have some form of mental illness.

Hopefully, both this newsletter and our committee’s continuing legal education programs will help guide you through this interesting area of the law.

Thank you for taking an interest in this issue. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the committee members, who have not only focused their professional careers on this issue, but have also gone the extra mile in working on this newsletter and in our continuing legal education programs. I would particularly like to thank Sandy Blake for all of her efforts in editing this newsletter.