People with mental disabilities should be treated with equality and with respect, and allowed the opportunity to live as independently as their abilities allow. Insuring this requires meaningful access to the justice system, especially when liberty interests and other rights are at risk. Legal representation through the MHAS provides such access.
Children should be raised and cared for in a safe, nurturing and healthy environment, they should have access to the services they need, and they should have a voice in decisions which impact their lives. The MHAS, through the Child Advocacy Program, provides legal representation for children in abuse and neglect proceedings to help ensure this happens.
WHAT WE DO
A STATE AGENCY PROTECTING THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE WITH BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES
The Mental Health Advocacy Service is an independent state agency under the office of the governor of the state of Louisiana established for the purpose of providing legal counsel and representation to both children and adults who have a mental illness or substance-related/addictive disorder and are admitted for treatment pursuant to Louisiana’s mental health law. Legal counsel includes, but is not limited to, voluntary and involuntary admissions, commitment, legal competency, change of status, transfer, and discharge. MHAS also provides qualified legal counsel to children in child abuse and neglect cases in those jurisdictions designated by the Louisiana Supreme Court through its Child Advocacy Program.
MHAS serves as a resource to the community by providing free training and assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. In addition, MHAS addresses systemic issues that affect the rights of more than one person.
OUR GOAL is to ensure that our clients’ voices are heard and that they receive every right and remedy afforded them under law.