New LAO strategy to improve services for clients with mental health issues

Posted on: Friday, July 27, 2012

July 27 – Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is developing a multi-faceted strategy to improve legal aid services for clients with mental health issues. This strategy will build on LAO’s current initiatives and support these vulnerable individuals in a more efficient, effective, and holistic manner. The Board will work in consultation with stakeholders to develop a strategy that improves and adds to LAO’s current client services.

“The Board is enthusiastic about this important opportunity to work in consultation with our stakeholders to improve our services to our clients,” says LAO Chair, John McCamus.

Currently, LAO’s Mental Health strategy provides criminal lawyers whose legal aid clients have mental health issues with extra funding to support their clients’ specialized needs, funds legal clinics which assist many clients who have mental health issues, and provides duty counsel support to clients in court, including in all of Ontario’s Mental Health Courts. In addition, LAO funds test cases that raise mental health issues.

This is the third corporate-wide strategy LAO has implemented in the past five years. The first two – LAO’s Aboriginal Justice and French Language Services strategies – are well underway.



Kristian Justesen
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
416-979-2352, ext. 4782