by Eliza Schafler
Eliza Schafler is an MHAS Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Our Behavioral Health-Legal Partnership (BeHeLP) at MHAS is a new model of medical-legal partnership, perhaps the first in the country that is specifically focused on children’s outpatient mental health. But it is certainly not the only MLP in Southern California. We are very fortunate to be part of a group of MLPs in the region, each of which provides legal care to people with health needs in a different way. Collectively, this group is the Southern California MLP Collaborative.

Members of the group represent not just Los Angeles but Orange County, Long Beach, San Diego, and San Bernardino. They work with seniors, foster youth, survivors of violence, veterans, and tenants. They teach law school courses and partner with community agencies. And some have been established in the community for years.

Last week, the Southern California MLP Collaborative met to set some priorities for the future. We will continue to offer MLP education to the legal community, as we did last year through ABA Pro Bono Week. We will share information on the progress we make and our impact on health outcomes for patients and consumers. And we will support each other on legal and policy challenges that affect our communities.