View this email in your browser
In the second edition of our quarterly 'Be heard!' newsletter for 2021, we continue to bring our 2018- 2021 Plan of Action to life with stories about how we:

This edition, we profile our Police and Clinician Emergency Response (PACER) project and our work to make the justice system fairer for people experiencing mental ill-health. Aligned with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Mental Health, our project will inform the development of collaborative and decentralised treatment and support models co-designed through consumer experience.
The PACER Project

As the first community legal centre to establish a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) within a major metropolitan hospital in Australia, we understand the strong link between health and legal issues. We also know that integrating services improves access to justice for people who would otherwise not get help.

With this in mind, in 2019 through funding from the Legal Services Board + Commissioner, IMCL began developing a pilot model for delivering free legal help to people who come into contact with the PACER team and connected mental health services.

The project integrates IMCL lawyers with mental health professionals and police emergency responders to facilitate a more compassionate, health-focused and holistic response to people experiencing a mental health crisis. 

To read more about the development of the model over the last two years and our next steps, visit our website.
Consumer Voices

'As communities, services and policy-makers, we have an ethical obligation to assist consumers to participate in and lead decisions that affect their lives. But you also create better policy and services when you engage with people at the early stages in services design.' Simon Katterl, Lived Experience Advisor

To build the best model for our PACER program, as well as IMCL's wider service delivery, we are placing mental health consumers at the centre of everything we do. 

An important part of this is the establishment of an inaugural consumer advisory group.
To learn more about our consumer advisory group and the role of our Lived Experience Advisor, visit our website
Our People
Inspired by a conversation with a local police sergeant in 2018, IMCL Director of Strategy, Engagement & Projects, Nadia Morales, saw an opportunity for IMCL to improve access to legal help for people experiencing mental illness.
'The sergeant described a novel initiative between police and mental health clinicians. The intersection between the  criminal justice and mental health system seemed like a critical and logical juncture for community lawyers to also intervene.' 

In 2019, Managing Lawyer - Health Justice Partnerships, Molly Williams, began working alongside Nadia to implement the project.

Molly has found integrated practice within the mental health context to be a challenging but exciting new undertaking.

'It's exciting to work in a space that is so dynamic - where there is lots of change going on and an appetite for things to be done differently.' 

To learn more about the project and the people behind it, visit our website.
In the News
Illustration: Greedy Hen/The Guardian
A recent article by the Guardian placed a spotlight on the challenges facing Victoria's mental health system, including its reliance on police as first responders to people experiencing mental health crises.

In exploring alternatives to the current system, the article featured our Managing Lawyer, Molly, who spoke about the role of IMCL's PACER Project.
'We see the opportunity in preventing legal problems from escalating, so that they might be getting in before the police decide to charge someone, and oftentimes they can use their discretion not to proceed in that way.' 

To learn more, read the article in full
Stay tuned for our next quarterly instalment! You can read previous editions on our website.
You are receiving this email because you are connected to the work of Inner Melbourne Community Legal (formerly North Melbourne Legal Service) as an industry colleague, partner organisation, donor, general supporter.

Our mailing address is:
Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
2/508 Queensberry St
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051

Add us to your address book
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences


© 2021 Inner Melbourne Community Legal Inc. Registration Number: A0014248J

Australian Aboriginal flag Torres Straight Islanders flagInner Melbourne Community Legal acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we work, the Boon wurrung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin nation. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and pay our respects to their cultures and Elders past and present. This always was and always will be Aboriginal Land.

Pride flagEveryone is welcome at Inner Melbourne Community Legal, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality.