Image: A head and shoulders picture of a woman with short brown/gray hair, glasses, and a big smile standing in front of a column in a government building. The picture is off center and there are blurred lights in the background. She is wearing a gray patterned sweater over a gray, blue and black patterned dress.
Contact Kathy: kflaherty at clrp.org
Since 2015, Kathy has served as Executive Director of Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (CLRP), a statewide non-profit agency which provides legal services to low income individuals with mental health conditions, who reside in hospitals or the community, on matters related to their treatment, recovery, and civil rights.Kathy spent 12 years as a Staff Attorney at Statewide Legal Services of CT, Inc., the centralized intake hotline for all the Connecticut legal services programs. A graduate of Wellesley College (Class of ’88) and Harvard Law School (’94), Kathy has dedicated her professional life to advocating for the rights of the underserved.
In January 2013, Kathy was appointed to Governor Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a 16-member panel of experts created by the Governor to review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention.
Combining her personal experience as a recipient of mental health services and her legal background, Kathy is able to speak to issues affecting those living with mental illness from a multi-faceted perspective.
Kathy is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers-CT (the state’s lawyer assistance program), and the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE). Kathy is the vice chair of the Keep the Promise Coalition, a coalition of advocates (people living with mental health conditions, family members, mental health professionals and interested community members) with a vision of a state in which people with mental health conditions are able to live successfully in the community because they have access to housing and other community-based supports and services that are recovery oriented, person-driven and holistic in their approach to wellness. She is also a member of the steering committee of the Connecticut Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance, an alliance of people of all ages with all disabilities who pursue a unified agenda.
CT Viewpoints, April 2017: Cost to Connecticut taxpayers of a homeless person for a year: $33,000
Connecticut Law Tribune, December 2015: Commentary: Board Offered Bad Advice About Mental Health Reform
Hartford Courant, January 2015: Involuntary Mental Health Treatment No Fix
Kathy is available as a source and for personal essays and opinion editorial
Additional communication availability: Phone, text, chat, videoconference
Languages: English (Fluent)