I have tweeted relevant quotes or amended quotes for global mental health from the Special Rapporteur's report (see my responses to my tweet with the link to the report). I'll try and condense them in this blog.
The report emphasises the importance of parity with physical health in national policies and budgets or in medical education and practice, but suggests nowhere in the world has this been achieved. It does not want to forget that the political abuse of psychiatry remains an issue of serious concern in some countries (see previous post).
I have also previously mentioned the critique of The Movement for Global Mental Health by critical psychiatry (see post). The Special Rapporteur agrees with this critique. As he points out, it's all very well to note that millions of people round the world are grossly underserved by mental health services, but quoting alarming statistics about the scale and economic burden of "mental disorders" must not root the global mental health crisis within a biomedical model, as this approach is too narrow to be proactive and responsive. The scaling-up of mental health care must not involve the scaling-up of inappropriate care. He prefers to talk about actions to "scale across", by which he means embracing "a broad package of integrated and coordinated services for promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, care and recovery", including "mental health services integrated into primary and general health care, which support early identification and intervention, with services designed to support a diverse community". Furthermore:-
Evidence-based psychosocial interventions and trained community health workers to deliver them must be enhanced. Services must support the rights of people with intellectual, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities and with autism to live independently and be included in the community, rather than being segregated in inappropriate care facilities.
As he does in the rest of the report, the Special Rapporteur is encouraging all countries, including lower and middle-income countries, to develop rights-based mental health care.
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