The legal advice telephone line operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. The MHLC employs a solicitor to co-ordinate and support a diverse range of experienced barristers, solicitors and volunteers to provide direct legal advice and referrals for ongoing casework where appropriate.
If you need to talk to a lawyer, please phone (03) 9629 4422 or 1800 555 887 (free call for country callers only) between 6:00pm and 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Please note that this service is only available to Victorian mental health consumers (or their representatives, provided we have obtained consumer permission to speak on their behalf) about their own issues.
The Centre can accept reverse charge calls in an emergency
Legal advice and advocacy
If you are a person with a mental illness and you require assistance with any of the following matters we may be able to assist you, if the legal issue relates directly to your mental illness:
- Your rights as an involuntary patient in hospital or in the community under the Mental Health Act (2014)
- Restrictive interventions such as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and restraint and seclusion. (Please note that for urgent advice about ECT or a visit by a Crisis Assessment and Treatment (CAT) team, you can either telephone our Night Service Advice Line or contact Victoria Legal Aid)
- Mental Health Tribunal hearings, including legal representation for people on Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) (please see below)
- Complaints about the mental health system, involuntary detention and treatment under the Mental Health Act (2014)
- Compaints about health providers or other complaints relating to your mental illness
- Human rights and discrimination relating to mental illness
- Complaints about police or protective services officers (advice only)
- Infringements / fines – where your mental illness contributed to the alleged offence
- Family law disputes about children, eg. contact, residency (advice only)
- Freedom of information, eg. accessing and correcting information on your clinical file
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Guardianship and administration orders
- Powers of attorney and advance directives
We are unable to provide legal advice or advocacy on the following issues, however we will endeavour to refer you elsewhere:
- Business / commercial disputes
- Criminal matters (indictable offences)
- Medical negligence litigation
- Personal injury matters (including Workcover, TAC and public liability claims)
- Property law matters and building disputes
- Wills, estates and probate
Please note that we are unable to provide advice to carers or mental health service providers unless we have permission from the client.