We were very proud to support Joe through his recovery, helping him access the things that gave him strength – time with his kids, independent housing and a trusting relationship with his treating team.
Joe was first referred to LawRight by Legal Aid when he had a review of his Forensic Order coming up. Forensic Orders are made when someone is charged with an offence but cannot stand trial due to their mental health condition. The offences were for property damage and driving infringements.
Moving to his own place and choosing to be clean
Joe was living in community care units in a large regional city. He was having trouble engaging with his treating team, partly because of continuing illicit drug use. Joe applied to the Department of Housing for a unit. A suitable unit was found, so Joe could live independently again. Joe had a few admissions to the acute mental health unit in the months following his move into the community, but he made the decision to give up illicit drugs and cigarettes, and his mental state stabilised.
Seeing his sons
Joe asked us if he could visit his two young sons, who live in Europe with their mother. We liaised with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist and raised the issue at his next review hearing, to help Joe get the approval from his treating team. Joe was so happy when he called to tell us his travel was approved and he was going to see his kids for 3 weeks! The trip went well and Joe returned committed to becoming fully rehabilitated so he could be a role model for his kids.
Joe’s efforts recognised by the Tribunal
At Joe’s most recent hearing, his treatment team recommended a step-down from the Forensic Order to a Treatment Support Order. The treating team consulted LawRight about the criteria for a step-down so they could give relevant evidence in support at the hearing. At the hearing, all parties agreed that Joe had made significant progress in his recovery and the Tribunal agreed to the step-down. Joe was delighted and felt that it was recognition of the hard work he had put into his rehabilitation.
In the future Joe hopes to work with people who have a mental illness and use his experiences to help others. For now, he is focused on his next trip to see his sons. He tells us his relationship with his kids has strengthened after his last visit and wants to keep his life on track, so he can be there for them.
LawRight represented Joe at 3 hearings over the 18 months he was our client. This year we represented 28 clients at reviews of their Forensic Orders.