MHE welcomes the recent and ground-breaking report on the right to mental health of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. This is the second important report this year to come out of the UN human right system which looks at the right to mental health in a post-UN CRPD era.
This challenging report highlights that mental health has been a forgotten issue for far too long, which in turn has left behind forgotten people who have suffered human rights abuses within mental health services. This report goes further than the earlier report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by calling out the ‘global burden of obstacles’ which are preventing our mental health systems from adopting a human rights-based approach which would guarantee the right to mental health for all. These obstacles include many of the issues raised by MHE such as power asymmetries, the prevalence of the biomedical model and biased use of evidence within the mental health system.
The Special Rapporteur calls for shift in paradigm away from isolating mental health services which are coercive and medicalised to one that is recovery and community-based, promotes social inclusion and offers a range of rights-based treatments and psychosocial support at primary and specialised care levels. He also recognises the human rights imperative to invest in prevention and promotion.
MHE hopes that this report will help the global community to realise that there is no health without mental health and that we need a human rights-based approach to ensure the right to mental health for all.
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