Specialist Forums

What is the Mental Health Service Planning Working Group?

The Mental Health Service Planning Working Group (MHSPWG) is a specialist sub-forum of the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum (QLAF).

The purpose of the working group is to promote cooperation and collaboration between legal and non-legal service providers, including social, community and health services working with people with mental health issues, intellectual disability, or cognitive impairment.

The MHSPWG considers service planning and best practice in service delivery to maximise the reach of legal assistance services available to people with mental health issues, intellectual disability, or cognitive impairment across Queensland.


Who participates in the Mental Health Service Planning Working Group?

The MHSPWG may include representatives of QLAF members and other stakeholders who respond to the legal needs of people with mental health issues, intellectual disability, or cognitive impairment, including non-legal services.

Individual members of peak representative bodies who are nominated to join the working group will represent the views of the peak on a strategic basis, as well as their individual organisation.

Current membership is comprised of representatives from:

Specialists or experts may be invited to attend meetings and members can nominate proxies to attend on their behalf.


Terms of Reference

  • Promote cooperation and collaboration within legal assistance service providers and other non-legal services working with people with mental health issues, intellectual disability, or cognitive impairment.
  • Develop a work plan to address Collaborative Service Planning Initiatives for 2015-2018 including:
    • Consider existing service provision, including outreach, and best practice in service design to inform:
      • strategies to deliver increasingly client-focused services; and
      • sector feedback to the Queensland Government on the allocation of any additional funding that becomes available for this priority client group, including developing and/or sponsoring applications for project funding as it becomes available
  • Identify, progress and implement priority initiatives and maintain flexibility to address new initiatives as these are identified, including those emerging from the review of the Mental Health Act 2000.
  • Share information and resources to facilitate the implementation of agreed priority initiatives.
  • Lead discussions around systemic change and advocacy between legal assistance service providers working with people with mental health issues, intellectual disability, or cognitive impairment.
  • To advise the QLAF on issues relevant to the provision of legal services to people with mental health issues, intellectual disability, or cognitive impairment.
  • The working group will meet at least four times a year. The Director, Family Law and Civil Justice Services, Legal Aid Queensland, is the Chair and secretariat support is provided by the QLAF Project Officer. Information about meetings, including agendas, will be distributed at least one week in advance where possible.
  • The working group will provide updates to the QLAF at least four times per year. Decisions will be on the basis on consensus among members. Members may choose to record dissenting views.

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QLAF Members

Legal Aid Queensland

Queensland Law Society

Bar Association of Queensland Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services Inc

Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd

Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service