Issue 23: Legal Concerns (Part 1)

Goal: Alaskans with psychiatric disorders will have access to adequate legal, administrative and case management representation.


The criminal, civil and administrative systems and the rights and responsibilities associated with them can be incomprehensible to mental health consumers. Therefore, when individuals interface with the police, courts, and civil and administrative systems, they need increased support to deal with these difficult issues, including someone to act on their behalf. In addition, mental health consumers, like other Alaskans, have civil legal issues which require legal representation. Low income limits their access to needed legal representation in such areas as family law.


299. The Department of Health and Social Services and advocates will educate all systems on behalf of people with psychiatric disorders regarding their special needs.

300. Advocates and service providers will intervene on behalf of consumers to assure adequate and prompt representation.

301. Address the training needs of providers in the civil, criminal and administrative systems to recommend helpful responses when working with people with psychiatric disorders.
Responsible party (actions 1-3): Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, advocates

302. The Alaska Mental Health Board will advocate with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority for additional funding to Alaska Legal Services for family law services for Trust beneficiaries.
Responsible party: Alaska Mental Health Board, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority