If you have just been diagnosed with a mental illness, or are continuing your long-term recovery, the mental health system can be incredibly difficult to navigate. The interaction between lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, case managers and allied services can be overwhelming for you as a consumer. Each of these stakeholders or service providers may also have their own view of the system and your mental illness.
I speak from a perspective of lived experience of mental illness, having been diagnosed with anxiety and stress disorders in the past. While I have lived experience, I understand that part of myself within the context of my studies and passion in law, politics, psychology, philosophy and social justice. I have worked in advocacy in Australia and in East Timor. I bring my own views and experiences to this platform.
This website is an attempted guide to consumers of mental health services, as well as serve as a critical lens through which they can see the mental health system. Updates on the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic), the Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS) and the NDIS will be given. Guides on how to understand your rights in the mental health system will also be given. In addition to this, long-form articles on critical psychiatry, law and the politics of mental health will be written with the aim of challenging stakeholder views of mental health and its treatment.
However it should be noted that this website is a supplement rather than substitute to appropriate legal advice or advocacy. If you have your own personal issues relating to mental health and your rights, you are encouraged to contact the below services for help.
Legal Aid Victoria
- Ph: 1300 792 387
- Website: https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/mental-health-and-your-rights/get-help
If you have a mental health legal problem, legal aid are an appropriate first call.
Mental Health Legal Centre
- Ph: (03) 9629 4422
- Add: 98/102-104 Victoria St, Carlton VIC 3053
The MHLC provide free legal advice to people with lived experience of mental illness. Be sure to call during their available hours.
Independent Mental Health Advocacy Service (IMHA)
- Ph: 1300 947 820
- Website: http://www.imha.vic.gov.au/
IMHA provide a new service to mental health patients on a compulsory treatment order. Be sure to read their website to find out what kind of advocacy and support they can give you.
The Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
- Ph: 9380 3900
- Website: http://www.vmiac.org.au/
- Address: 1/22 Aintree St, Brunswick East
The Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council is the peak body for consumers of mental health services in Victoria. If you have advocacy issues relating to your mental health service providers then give them a call.