Partnership boosts wellbeing of young adult patients

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus visited Mater Young Adult Health Centre Brisbane this week to find out more about the Health Advisory Legal Clinic, an innovative health justice partnership between Mater, LawRight and The University of Queensland.

The multidisciplinary student clinic, which started in 2016, responds to the legal needs of Mater’s young adult patients in collaboration with their treating team to support better health outcomes.

Young Adult and Mental Health Services Senior Manager Greg McGahan said young people attending the clinic receive a free legal check, with the support of senior law, social work and medical students.

 “Our patients can access support around domestic violence, family law, housing assistance, guardianship, managing debt, wills, and advanced health care planning.

“The Health Advisory Legal Clinic works well with our vision for Mater Young Adult Health Centre Brisbane―to put a lot of psychosocial supports around these young people. We’ve embedded a mental health team in the outpatient department so it’s really important to have this clinic as part of that focus.”

Director of Medical and Chronic Diseases Dr Trisha O’Moore Sullivan said the Health Advisory Legal Clinic addressed 110 legal issues across 2017-18, resulting in an increase in the wellbeing of all clients.

“We’re looking at this from the perspective of how do we improve health outcomes for young people… that is the vision and why it’s such a great connection for us and there is good data to support that―we know if we can relieve psychosocial pressures we will get better health outcomes for our patients.

The clinic is generously funded by Mater Foundation in partnership with the Flannery Foundation, and UQ and LawRight donors.   


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