Providence, RI – This afternoon, the Rhode Island Senate unanimously confirmed Megan N. Clingham, Governor Lincoln Chafee's nominee, as the Mental Health Advocate for the State of Rhode Island.
"The mission of the Mental Health Advocate is a critical one: defending and protecting the rights and best interests of those with mental health issues in our state," Governor Chafee said. "I am confident that Megan's background and talents are well suited to this important position."
The Office of the Mental Health Advocate is an independent state agency staffed by attorneys who provide an array of free legal, investigative, and advocacy services, regardless of age, to prevent inappropriate admissions to psychiatric facilities, to protect the rights and enhance the dignity of persons in mental health treatment and inpatient substance abuse treatment, and to reduce the stigma associated with mental disabilities and substance abuse addictions.
Clingham was most recently staff attorney with the Rhode Island Office of the Child Advocate. She previously served as Legal Counsel for the former Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that, she served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender from 1992 to 2007. She was also an Attorney/Law Clerk for the Epilepsy Foundation of America from 1990 to 1992.
Clingham is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association and the Federal Bar for the District of Rhode Island. She earned a JD from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America and a BA in English cum laude from Rhode Island College.