My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
ProBono.Org has recently launched an office in Cape Town and they assist the indigent and poor who are unable to afford legal fees when they are in need of legal representation.
ProBono.Org acts as a legal clearinghouse and aims to provide pro bono legal assistance to indigent and marginalised persons through the private legal profession. In doing so, we aim to get Attorneys and Advocates on board to join our panel in order for us to send them instructions and briefs on areas of law which they may be interested in and prefer doing. As such, we are one of the Cape Law Society’s recognised structures, and Attorneys may elect to receive tailored pro bono instructions from only our office instead. ProBono.Org will then track, record and report on pro bono hours to the Cape Law Society directly.
In addition, we aim to hold legal clinics and community workshops staffed by representatives from various firms on different legal issues such as Deceased Estates, Family Law related matters, Consumer Law related matters and Housing matters, to name a few. These legal clinics and community workshops would be hosted at our offices in Cape Town and at other venues such as the Master’s Office, Deeds Office, and various Magistrate’s Courts etc, thereby making access to justice realisable.
Furthermore, we aim to organise legal seminars conducted by Attorneys or Advocates on various legal issues, thereby educating fellow legal professionals on areas of the law that may be unfamiliar to them.
ProBono.Org is recognised by the Cape Law Society, as such, attorneys who are willing to join their panel can elect to receive instructions from their office which will keep a record of hours spent on a matter and this will be directly reported to the Cape Law Society.
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