Integrating Legal Advocacy in a Multidisciplinary Team Approach: An Intervention in Mental Health Service Delivery to Prevent Recidivism

[Speaker] Marquez, Joseph E:1
[Co-author] Pir, Tara:2, Mesrobian, Sirvart:2, Yekyazarian, Armen:2
1:Institute for Multicultural Counseling & Education Services (United States of America), 2:IMCES (United States of America)

Two groups of participants were compared, both from low-Income, underserved, linguistically and culturally diverse, vulnerable populations with mental health challenges in addition to legal service needs as a part of their functional impairments such as evictions, immigration status, and probation/parole.

One group received services from our multidisciplinary treatment team inclusive of psychotherapist, psychiatrist, and attorney/legal advocate as a case manager. The second group, also in need of legal services, did not receive the needed legal advocacy services from our treatment team and their legal issues were referred out to other organizations.

This study examines the reduction in recidivism as well as achievement of overall client psychological health recovery goals, when legal aid is included as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team approach.
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