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Contributions from our generous supporters make it possible for Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS) to provide life-changing legal services to people with mental disabilities. These are a few of our clients' stories:
Photo credit 1*
"Deborah" has severe depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. She  lost her grandson to gang violence, her daughter-in-law to murder, and her father to illness. In addition to  her mental health struggles, she has debilitating physical pain due to past injuries. Despite all of these challenges, she tried to continue working until her physical pain and panic attacks made it impossible for her to perform any of the jobs she attempted. She then applied for Social Security disability benefits, but her application was denied. MHAS represented Deborah in her appeal hearing, the denial was overturned, and Deborah received 12 months of retroactive benefits.
Photo credit 2*
Military veteran "Joey" had been homeless for 20 years  until he finally obtained a federal housing subsidy to move into a supportive housing program in 2013. Joey's post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorders had been exacerbated by life on the streets, but once housed he began stabilizing his life with the help of mental health treatment and meditation. When the Housing Authority abruptly terminated Joey's housing assistance, improperly alleging that he failed to follow the program's rules, he was suddenly facing homelessness again. Our BeHeLP-Vets project used fair housing laws to challenge the termination and successfully argued for reinstatement of the subsidy to ensure stable, safe housing for Joey.
Photo credit 3*
"Brett" was falling behind in school and becoming isolated. The 12 year-old was anxious and distracted, and he was increasingly exhibiting inappropriate and defiant behavior. The school had assessed Brett for special education, but due to misdiagnosis he had never received the services he needed. MHAS represented Brett at an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting and negotiated for Educationally Related Mental Health Services to address the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. Brett likes his counseling sessions, and his academic performance is improving.
These are just a few examples of the legal victories we have achieved for our clients in 2015. Our dedicated staff, along with pro bono attorneys, law students and other volunteers, have helped over 3,000 people in the last year - fighting discrimination, protecting rights, and ensuring access to critically needed benefits and services. We provide legal assistance to low-income adults and children, conduct outreach and education in the community, and participate in impact litigation and policy advocacy to improve the lives of people with mental disabilities.
Your support makes a difference.
When you support MHAS, you are making a real difference in the lives of children and adults with mental disabilities. Please make a contribution today and help us protect and advance the legal rights of people like Deborah, Joey, Brett and the thousands of others who need our help. Thank you.

*To protect confidentiality, this letter does not use clients' actual names or likenesses.
Photo credits:
1. Thompson
2. Erickson
3. Thrift 

staffMHAS Staff

James Preis, Executive Director

Renee Cook
Nishanthi Kurukulasuriya
Sherrill Martin
Pamela Marx
Jesse Norgaard
Fernando Ramirez
Nancy Shea
Naomi Sultan
Madeline Walder

boardBoard of Directors

Emily Aviad, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Meiram Bendat, Psych-Appeal, Inc.
David E. Bower,  Faruqi & Faruqi LLP
Houman Ehsan, O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Lucy Eisenberg
Dmitry Gorin, Eisner Gorin LLP
Douglas L. Hall
Andrew Hirsch,  Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
     (Board Treasurer/Secretary)
Jacqueline R. Klein,  Law Offices of Michael John Klein
Jeromie Park, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Sarah F. Powers,  Eisner Jaffe APC (Board Vice President)
Neil A. Rubin, Latham & Watkins LLP  (Board President)
Francis S. Ryu, Ryu Law Firm
Elyn R. Saks, USC Gould School of Law
Neferteri Shepherd-Plessy, Pro PR Marketing
Andrew C. Spitser,  Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Kristin N. Tahler,  Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Gregory J. Weingart, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

advisoryAdvisory Board

Alexander M. Capron
Areta Crowell
Edmund D. Edelman
Arthur N. Greenberg
David H. Guthman
Grover Heyler
Jo Kaplan
David Meyer
Ralph Shapiro
Richard Van Horn
Eduardo Vega



aboutAbout Mental Health Advocacy Services

The mission of  Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS) is to protect and advance the legal rights of children and adults with mental disabilities, in order to maximize autonomy, promote equality, and secure the resources needed to thrive in the community. MHAS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation providing free legal services to approximately 3,000 low-income adults and children annually, with an emphasis on obtaining government benefits and services, protecting rights, and fighting discrimination. MHAS also serves as a resource to the community by providing training and technical assistance to attorneys, mental health professionals, consumer and family member groups, and other advocates. In addition, MHAS participates in impact litigation in an effort to improve the lives of people with mental disabilities. 

Contributions to MHAS are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. 


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