Directed by Professor Bernadette McSherry, Australian Council Research Federation Fellow, and Deputy Directors: Dr Penelope Weller and Professor Ian Freckelton, this Centre was officially launched by Professor Michael Perlin, Director of the International Mental Disability Law Reform Project at the New York Law School, USA on Thursday, 2nd June 2011 at The Lionel Murphy Centre, Melbourne following his seminar entitled 'There must be some way out of here' - Why the disabilities convention is potentially the best weapon in the fight against ‘sanism'.
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Mental health policy has become increasingly important to governments around the world; and the recent coming into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has provided added impetus for a rethinking of mental health laws and regulatory frameworks.
The law regulates and shapes the way in which mental health care is delivered and the way in which individuals with mental and/or intellectual impairments* are treated by both civil and criminal justice systems. Without appropriate laws in place to regulate access to mental health services, involuntary detention and treatment as well as diversion and sentencing programs for offenders with mental and/or intellectual impairments, there can be unnecessary deaths from suicides and other premature deaths relating to certain mental illnesses.
Our vision is:
The Centre for the Advancement of Law and Mental Health (CALMH) which is based in the Faculty of Law, Monash University, will make a substantial contribution to the transformation of the mental health law system from one that is currently fragmented and inequitable into a new legal system for the delivery of mental health services that is comprehensive, coordinated, evidence-based and just.
1. To conduct scholarly research into the role of law in:
2. To provide evaluation and guidance to key stakeholders on the reform and implementation of laws relating to:
The International Advisory Board comprising consumers, carers and mental health professionals assists in setting research and policy directions.