Mental Health Advocacy Service
Who we are
The Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS) is a statewide specialist service of Legal Aid NSW. We provide free legal information, advice and assistance about mental health law.
Who we help
- People who have been involuntarily admitted to a hospital
- People appearing before the Guardianship Division of NCAT
- Relatives and friends are also welcome to call us for advice
How we can help
Advice and assistance
We give free independent advice about all areas of mental health law.
We can also assist you:
- by providing advice on what is required for appeals against refusal to be discharged from a mental health facility prior to a Mental Health inquiry being conducted;
- by providing legal assistance in response to applications, or revocations, of financial management orders;
- by giving legal advice over the telephone with regards to legal implications of the Mental Health Act and the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act;
- by conducting appointments for people wishing to come and speak with a lawyer.
A social worker and lay advocate are also available to help with a wide range of related social issues.
If you have been detained in a hospital under the Mental Health Act you may be brought before the Mental Health Review Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’). A lawyer can represent you in the inquiry and also advise and represent you about things like your financial affairs, community treatment orders, and appealing against a refusal by the doctor to discharge you.
MHAS provides representation for people appearing before the The Guardianship Division of NCAT. Call the MHAS well in advance of the hearing date so we can advise you or arrange representation.
Our service is located at the Burwood office, 74-76 Burwood Road, Burwood and is available from 9am to 5pm.
You can telephone for an appointment to come and speak to a lawyer at our Burwood office on 02 9745 4277. Or we can provide information and advice over the telephone.
Please contact MHAS as soon as possible if you want representation for a community treatment order or an appeal.
You may telephone the MHAS if you are not sure about what is happening to you. We will pay for the call if you are outside Sydney.
Lawyers from MHAS, or private lawyers (arranged by MHAS), attend each hospital in NSW that has involuntary patients. If you are seeing the Tribunal, a lawyer will come to see you first. You do not have to make a request to see the lawyer.
- Mental Health Advocacy Service – legal help and advice about mental health matters (also translated into 7 languages)
- Have you been involuntarily admitted to a hospital? Find out your rights and where to get help