Advancing the rights and opportunities of persons with mental disabilities through quality legal advocacy and education in Massachusetts
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What We Do

The Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee works to enhance and protect the rights of persons with mental health concerns in key areas most closely related to their ability to live full and independent lives free of discrimination. All callers who present with a legal issue related to mental health within broad priorities will receive basic advice and referral information (see About MHLAC Intake). MHLAC advocates provide informal advocacy or full legal representation to indigent adults and children who:

  • Are mistreated in, or face undue, psychiatric confinement or need help securing community-based mental health services;

  • Might otherwise be denied custody or visitation of a child (see About Clubhouse Project);

  • Are suspended or expelled from school or denied necessary language services;

  • Are locked up and denied an education;

  • Are denied rights by emergency room staff;

  • Are confined in a prison or jail and mistreated or denied mental health care;

  • Have been restrained with physical force or by mechanical means or confined in isolation from other persons in a school or state run facility;

  • Were denied short or long term disability;

In the pursuit of large-scale systemic reforms, MHLAC works cooperatively with other agencies and advocacy organizations on litigation or community based campaigns and in coalitions seeking legislative or regulatory changes. MHLAC also provides comprehensive, highly-regarded trainings for CPCS attorneys and others on cutting edge legal and medical topics related to mental illness (see About MHLAC Training).

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