Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP)

Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP) empowers people with mental health and developmental disabilities to live more independent, secure, and satisfying lives through the enforcement of their legal rights and the advancement of their social and economic well-being.

We provide: Free legal advice and representation for individuals with mental health or developmental disabilities; educational workshops and technical assistance for mental health consumers, community groups, service providers, public officials, attorneys, and staff at community-based organizations; and policy advocacy.

MHAP Intake Line: (408) 280-2420 or (800) 248-6427

MHAP Fax: (408) 350-1158


Among the issues we address are: 

  • We help clients access public and private benefits and insurance such as, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medi-Cal, Medicare, CalWORKs, Healthy Families, General Assistance and unemployment benefits.
  • Clients’ housing rights in evictions, subsidy terminations, abuse and neglect in housing, landlord-tenant disputes, and habitability problems.
  • Differential treatment against residents and housing applicants based on disability, and reasonable accommodations.
  • Rights in inpatient psychiatric facilities, including unnecessary seclusion or restraint, over-medication, visiting rights, voting rights, abuse and neglect, and right to least restrictive treatment environment.
  • Rights in mental health programs, such as the right to needed treatment, right to be treated with dignity and respect, and right to informed consent.
  • Clients at due process hearings for individuals who are held against their will in psychiatric facilities or involuntarily medicated.

Expressed Interest Philosophy

MHAP advocates and attorneys operate consistently with our expressed interest philosophy, empowering our clients to make their own decisions about the course of their legal representation.


For our clients

MHAP provides free legal services to any individual who lives in Santa Clara County and who identifies as having a mental health or a developmental disability.  We assist clients in the areas of public benefits, housing and patients' rights.