Member Groups

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

October 2018, vol. 5, no. 1

Letter from the chair

As a relative newcomer to mental health law, I was astounded to learn that one in four people have some form of mental illness. Unless an individual lives as a hermit, it would be virtually impossible for any of us to be untouched by mental illness. That being the case, I am also astounded that we avoid the subject of mental illness in everyday conversation.

Members of the Mental Health Law Section Council are recognized leaders in all aspects of mental health law. We have renewed our commitment to review proposed and existing statutes, legislation, rules and court decisions affecting persons with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders and make recommendations to the Board of Governors concerning these matters; to provide training and education to lawyers concerning the interaction between mental illness and the law and legal practice; to provide information to mental health professionals and the public concerning laws and rules affecting persons with mental illnesses; to collaborate with other professional and advocacy organizations to promote awareness of mental illnesses and mental health and to increase mental health services.

We begin our work and the conversation with this issue of Mental Health Matters.


Sandy Blake is an assistant public defender in Kane County. Her practice currently focuses on defense of involuntary admission and treatment petitions, defense of sexually violent persons petitions, and post-conviction matters.