Casey’s Story

Casey was frightened of going to jail when she was first referred to Ruah Legal Services.

Despite having no previous criminal history, the drug possession offence was serious, and she was at risk of imprisonment.

A Key Worker from Ruah Legal Services played an important role establishing strong wrap-around supports to give Casey the best opportunity to address her substance abuse and the mental health issues stemming from her diagnosed bipolar disorder. The Key Worker was an important conduit between Casey and her lawyer. They helped Casey access a rehabilitation program and a local GP who could help with an ongoing mental health care plan. They also helped Casey find a psychiatrist to review her medication and put her in touch with ongoing counselling.

Before sentencing, Casey successfully completed the rehabilitation program and was offered 12-month transitional housing. The Key Worker helped her set up an appointment with the court-appointed psychiatrist and supported Casey’s family during the process.

On the day of sentencing, the lawyer showed how Casey’s mental health had contributed to her offending behaviour resulting in a conditional suspended sentence instead of imprisonment. The Key Worker met with Casey for a month after court, to make sure she had the ongoing support to stay well.

“The lawyer and Key Worker were both awesome. They were really supportive. I think they changed my life,” a thankful Casey said.

*Name changed to protect client privacy.

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We support thousands of people every year – ensuring vulnerable people, and particularly people experiencing mental illness or impacted by the trauma of family violence, receive high-quality advice, advocacy and legal representation.

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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.


RUAH 2022-23 Annual Report

RUAH 2021-22 Annual Report

RUAH 2020-21 Annual Report

MHLC 2019-20 Annual Report

MHLC 2018-19 Annual Report

MHLC 2017-18 Annual Report

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