To engage with the community and provide effective legal services that supports the principles of recovery and consumer centred care.
We are Western Australia’s experts in mental health law.
Ruah Legal Services incorporates the Mental Health Law Centre (MHLC) and is a state-wide community legal assistance service.
We offer legal advice and representation in matters under the Mental Health Act 2014 and in proceedings relating to criminal law, care and protection, Guardianship and Administration Orders, and family and domestic violence.
The Mental Health Law Centre (MHLC) has been bringing justice to people experiencing mental health issues for more than 20 years.
It is Western Australia’s only community legal service for people facing legal issues related to their mental illness, and we advocate for vulnerable and disadvantaged people who often face injustice and discrimination in a complex legal system.
In 2019, the Mental Health Law Centre and Ruah Community Services merged and, under the banner of Ruah Legal Services, expanded legal services to other vulnerable Western Australians including those experiencing homelessness or escaping the trauma of family violence.
Our clients receive genuinely wraparound services and support with expert legal advice, support and representation as well as access to the community services they need.
To be an expert and valued legal service for people with mental health issues in our community
The values which we seek to demonstrate in our services, management practices and stakeholder relations are: Respect, Compassion, Excellence, Integrity and Collaboration
Who We Help
As a specialist community legal centre, we play a vital role in ensuring people experiencing mental health issues and significant disadvantage can access the legal help they need, at the time they need it most.
People with mental illness often have complex problems and, without support and help, many face a path to financial hardship, social exclusion, discrimination, unemployment and homelessness.
Families involved in care and protection matters are some of our most vulnerable, with the most common issues associated with the removal of children being family violence, substance abuse, and mental illness.
Women escaping family violence are grappling with significant trauma at the same time they are required to deal with complex legal matters.
Lack of appropriate, wraparound services can lead to a huge cost to the individual, their family, government services and the community. That’s why our services are so critical to both individuals and our society.
What We Do
Ruah Legal Services:
- Advise and represent hundreds of clients every year. Many need our help with matters before the Mental Health Tribunal, and others in the State Administrative Tribunal, the Children’s Court or in criminal law matters.
- Advocate to improve policy and law making sure the system is fairer for people with mental illness and disadvantage who are twice as likely to experience legal problems and often struggle to navigate the courts.
- Educate and train other lawyers, doctors, community service workers and community groups, to help them understanding the complex law around mental health, care and protection and family and domestic violence.
Our advice is free and available to clients who qualify for our services.
Read more about Ruah Legal Services and the Mental Health Law Centre in our annual reports. From 2020-21, we report on our operations as ‘One Ruah’ reflecting our merger with Ruah Community Services in 2019 and the expansion of our integrated legal and non-legal support to families.