The mission of the Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS) is to ensure that the legal rights of mentally disabled persons and children are protected in accordance with a federal court order, Brad G. v. Treen, C.A. #81-1094 (E.D. La.), and with state law, L.R.S. 28:2 (14); Ch. Code Art. 607, by: (1) making legal representation available to the respondent in every civil commitment proceeding in Louisiana; (2) providing legal representation during the initial stages of confinement for every indigent person involuntarily admitted for mental health treatment; (3) providing legal representation for every person who has been civilly committed, subsequent to their civil commitment; (4) providing legal representation for children in abuse and neglect proceedings and; (5) providing legal representation for children at risk of being committed to mental institutions. The program also acts as a clearinghouse for information relative to the rights of mentally disabled persons, provides training to various individuals/agencies and sits on numerous boards and commissions in the community. MHAS also addresses numerous “systems” issues (issues that affect the rights of more than one person with mental disabilities and require a change in policy or practice to be remedied).
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