OUR HISTORY – AN OVERVIEW
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law was founded in 1972 by a group of committed lawyers and professionals in mental health and mental disabilities. Known until 1993 as the Mental Health Law Project, our name today honors the federal appeals court judge whose watershed decisions pioneered the field of mental health law.
In decades of landmark advocacy, the Bazelon Center has led the way in efforts to define and advance the rights of people with mental disabilities in many aspects of their lives. The Bazelon Center’s legal victories have been replicated by advocates across the country and have supported reforms at the federal, state and local levels. On the federal policy front, the Bazelon Center’s leadership in the mental health arena is reflected in laws and policies that today protect the rights of people with mental disabilities and fund critical services for them.
The following timeline highlights just a few of our victories over our 45 years of service.