What is Mental Health Law?

Legal Definition
Mental health law includes a wide variety of legal topics and pertain to people with a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of a mental health condition, and to those involved in managing or treating such people. Laws that relate to mental health include:

  • employment laws, including laws that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of a mental health condition, require reasonable accommodations in the workplace, and provide mental health-related leave;
  • insurance laws, including laws governing mental health coverage by medical insurance plans, disability insurance, workers compensation, and Social Security Disability Insurance;
  • housing laws, including housing discrimination and zoning;
  • education laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination, and laws that require reasonable accommodations, equal access to programs and services, and free appropriate public education;
  • laws that provide a right to treatment;
  • involuntary commitment and guardianship laws;
  • laws governing treatment professionals, including licensing laws, confidentiality, informed consent, and medical malpractice;
  • laws governing admission of expert testimony or other psychiatric evidence in court; and
  • criminal laws, including laws governing fitness for trial or execution, and the insanity defense.

Mental health law has received relatively little attention in scholarly legal forums. The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2011 announced the formation of a student-edited law journal entitled "Mental Health Law & Policy Journal."
-- Wikipedia