This page lists some resources on mental health and human rights.
WHO QualityRights Initiative
WHO published a paper in 2017 on “Promoting human rights in mental health” as part of the WHO QualityRights initiative on training to act, unite and empower for mental health.
WHO QualityRights is an initiative which aims to improve the quality of care in mental health and related services and to promote the human rights of people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, throughout the world. QualityRights uses a participatory approach to achieve the following objectives:
1 Build capacity to understand and promote human rights, recovery and independent living in the community.
2 Create community based and recovery oriented services that respect and promote human rights.
3 Improve the quality of care and human rights conditions in inpatient, outpatient and community based mental health and related services.
4 Develop a civil society movement to conduct advocacy and influence policy-making to promote human rights.
5 Reform national policies and legislation in line with best practice, the CRPD and other international human rights standards.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD
The objectives of QualityRights are to:
- Improve quality of care and human rights in inpatient and outpatient mental health services.
- Create community based and recovery oriented services that respect and promote human rights.
- Promote human rights, recovery, and independent living in the community.
- Develop a movement of people with mental disabilities to provide mutual support, conduct advocacy and influence policy-making processes.
- Reform national policies and legislation.
Launch of WHO QualityRights Project & Tool Kit
Guidance and training tools
As part of the QualityRights Initiative, WHO has developed a comprehensive package of training and guidance modules. The modules can be used to build capacity among mental health practitioners, people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, people using mental health services, families, care partners and other supporters, NGOs, DPOs and others on how to implement a human rights and recovery approach in the area of mental health in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other international human rights standards.
UK Human Rights Act 1998 and mental health legislation
Implications for the management of mentally ill patients
First published March 1, 2002
Postgraduate Medical Journal
In the management of mentally ill patients, there is a tension between protecting the rights of individual patients and safeguarding public safety. The Human Rights Act 1998 emphasises on the former while two recent white papers focus on the latter.
This article first examines the extent to which the Mental Health Act 1983 is consistent with the Human Rights Act. It argues that while the recent white papers exploit the gaps in the judgments given by the European courts, its compatibility with human rights is very doubtful. The practical implications of the Human Rights Act for doctors are discussed.
It is difficult to safeguard the safety of the public at the same time without compromising the human rights of the individuals. The proposed reformed Mental Health Act attempts to do so superficially and shifts the difficult balancing act to individual psychiatrists and health professionals. However, the proposals are likely to be challenged in the European Court when they come into force. These issues are highly relevant to psychiatrists’ professional practice, and it is important for psychiatrists to gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of how to deal with situations which might infringe on patients’ human rights.
Human rights and mental health
British Institute of Human Rights
Video: Patient Voice and Human Rights
There is no new normal: Brexit and mental health in the UK since 2016
What follows will try to examine what brexit means for the everyday lives of people who experience mental health difficulties in England. While most of the following will be relevant across the UK as a whole, no attempt is made to generalise, especially in the case of health and social care statistics or preparations. Each nation has a distinct set of institutions, devolved government and a set of challenges presented by brexit. In England, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 created NHS England and a number of other arm’s length bodies for health and social care and it will be these bodies which will be discussed. Northern Ireland, with the potential for brexit to conflict with law set out in the Good Friday Agreement and as the only part of the UK that shares a land border with the EU, has particular concerns. Scotland and Wales also have concerns different from the Westminster Government around Brexit.