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Mental Health Advocacy

Patrick Reilly, Division Director
Ann Portas – Assistant Division Director
Lorraine Hunter-Hoilien – South Jersey Managing Attorney
Paula Levy – North Jersey Managing Attorney
Linda Butler – Central Jersey Managing Attorney

Located within the Office of the Public Defender, the Division of Mental Health Advocacy provides high quality representation at initial commitment hearings, periodic review hearings, voluntary approval hearings and placement hearings at federal, state, county, general and private psychiatric hospitals for adults and children in the counties of Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Salem and Union Counties, as well as children hospitalized at a children's Crisis Intervention Service. In addition to providing meaningful legal representation of Division of Developmental Disabilities' clients at guardianship of the person hearings, the Division provides high quality legal representation for individuals committed involuntarily under the sexually violent predators law.

The Division is also available on a limited basis to provide legal representation for adults and children diagnosed with a mental illness, where the representation best advances the interest of similarly situated individuals.

The Division of Mental Health Advocacy's toll-free number (1-877-285-2844) will direct your call to the appropriate regional office.

The Division does not provide treatment. Therefore, if you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem, there are other ways to access help.

1) If there is an emergency, or you believe that you or someone else is in danger, dial 911 immediately.

2) For questions about mental illness or accessing services or other non-emergency matters, you can contact NJ Mental Health Cares by telephone at:

Phone: (866) 202-HELP (4357)

NJ Mental Health Cares is sponsored by the Mental Health Association and has trained clinicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.