PIAC Launches Mental Health Legal Project
Tuesday, 8th December 2009 at 10:28 am
PIAC established the project with funding support from Legal Aid NSW. The NSW Public Purpose Fund with the support of the NSW Attorney General has funded four service delivery pilot projects.
The Federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has provided further financial support.
The funding has enabled PIAC to:
• place a social worker at Shopfront Youth Legal Centre, a joint project of Mission Australia, the Salvation Army and the law firm Freehills;
• place a lawyer at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS);
• place a lawyer with the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA); and
• place an Aboriginal mental health worker with the Gamarada Indigenous Men’s Healing Program.
PIAC Chief Executive Officer Robin Banks says each of the four pilot projects adds a specialist worker to an existing health, community or legal service.
Banks says this enables holistic service delivery that can at once meet the legal, practical and emotional support needs of people with mental illness.
She says many people with mental illness are living with complex, entrenched problems and often have great difficulty in accessing appropriate services.
She says the pilot projects aim to resolve those current problems and prevent further problems from occurring.
Banks says there is a domino effect that flows from these projects. By addressing legal and other needs such as accommodation, employment and mental health treatment, people are experiencing better outcomes and an overall improvement in quality of life.