Contrary to what some people think, there is, in this country , a strong network of mental health advocacy organizations. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, in Washington, D.C., has been, for over 30 years, America's leading legal advocate for people with mental disabiliies. It's litigation, since it's founding in 1972 by lawyers and professionals in mental health and mental retardation, has resulted in institutional abuse being outlawed and has won protections against arbitrary confinement. Through it's advocacy it has opened up opportunities for people with mental disabilities in schools, workplaces, housing and other settings to participate in community life. The mission of the Center "is to protect and advance the rights of adults and children who have mental disabilities". Further, the Center "envisions an America where people who have mental illnesses or developmental diabilities exercise their own life choices and have access to the resources that enable them to participate fully in their communities".
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