Mission Statement (As amended by NYSBA Executive Committee November 15, 2022)
The Task Force on Mental Health and Trauma Informed Representation is created to explore, study, and evaluate the intersection between the mental health crisis and our civil and criminal justice systems. There is a well-documented crisis of mental health care in the United States that has failed to meet the needs of people with mental health challenges and/or histories of trauma. People living with mental health challenges or trauma histories are increasingly incarcerated, homeless, or boarded in hospital emergency rooms. They often bear additional burdens and stigma of racial discrimination, sex or gender identity discrimination, and poverty. The Task Force will focus on the need for the Bar to better serve individuals with mental health challenges and/or trauma histories, both adults and children, through trauma-informed practice, such as informing attorneys and the judiciary of available resources to assist in the representation of clients, by raising awareness of intersectional stigma and trauma, and by recommending education on best practices in the representation of these clients. Criminal diversion and civil processes will be examined to ensure that people living with mental health challenges and/or trauma histories are able to fully participate in legal proceedings that impact their liberty and well-being. State policy and budget priorities will be examined, and appropriate recommendations made.
“NYSBA Recommends Reducing Reliance on Prisons and Courts as the Primary Treatment for People With Mental Illness” June 10, 2023 – https://nysba.org/nysba-recommends-reducing-reliance-on-prisons-and-courts-as-the-primary-treatment-for-people-with-mental-illness-2/
New York State Bar Association Launches Task Force To Help Lawyers Better Serve Clients With Mental Health Challenges (8/1/2022)— https://nysba.org/new-york-state-bar-association-launches-task-force-to-help-lawyers-better-serve-clients-with-mental-health-challenges/
Report and recommendations of the Task Force on Mental Health and Trauma Informed Representation
Approved by the House of Delegates on June 10, 2023
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