Authors: Ian Parsons and Chris Speldewinde, VIC
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: 2015 Conference Book of Proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The relationship between mental health issues and legal problems can be a cyclic one. A person with a mental illness may experience legal problems related to issues such as debt, tenancy, fines and family law. These legal problems may go unaddressed because of more immediate needs related to mental health, which are themselves exacerbated by the escalating legal issues. The Medical Legal Partnerships (MLP) model is one which is in its infancy in Australia. The model has been operating successfully in the USA since the early 1990s and it has focussed on the placement of legal professionals in generic health services to enable the early identification and address of legal problems for people who might not otherwise seek legal help. This paper discusses an action research project currently underway in regional Victoria that is exploring the application of the MLP model specifically to the mental health context.