Brett Haughian

Legal Advocate
Human Rights Clinic – HRC


Brett Haughian is currently on a one year secondment to the Human Rights Clinic as a Legal Advocate. Prior to Brett joining the Human Rights Clinic, Brett was a mental health advocate at CLAS since 1991, providing legal representation for patients certified under BC’s Mental Health Act. Prior to working at CLAS, Brett was an advocate at the Tenants Rights Action Coalition. Outside of CLAS, Brett is a registered counsellor and hypnotherapist.

Brett has been the supervising paralegal to our other mental health advocates and acts as a mentor and resource for new advocates, students and experienced advocates alike. This is Brett’s take on his work at CLAS:

Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinking fast
I’m drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past,
But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free,
I’ve got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.
–  Bob Dylan

For the past 27 years I have worked as a legal advocate, presenting my clients’ case for decertification before the Mental Health Review Board.  My narrative is entwined with the people who touch my life daily.  Clients who mirror my fears, challenge my self-image, model resilience, open me to my compassion.  Colleagues throughout CLAS who capture me in their wake of introducing justice to the unjust, giving voice to what’s not heard, soothing the scars of inequality with the salve of equality.

All of this helps me create a container that can decipher sanity from insanity, normalize the abnormal, and absorb the winds of personal crisis that blow through fractured lives, so I can fill myself with helpfulness. 

~ Brett