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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. The MHAS work with LawAccess NSW, who are you first contact when seeking help.

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.

Representation

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 Guardianship Division of NCAT. Call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 well in advance of the hearing date so we can provide you with advice regarding the Mental Health Review Tribunal and Guardianship Division of NCAT.

Location

Our service is located at Legal Aid NSW head office, 323 Castlereagh St, Sydney.

Contact us

Call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 for information and advice.

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.

Related information

Publications

Websites