Monday, September 12, 2022

Rights based legislation in mental health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) QualityRights Toolkit can be used to evaluate adherence by mental health services to the Convention on the Rights of people with Disabilities (CRPD) (see previous post). For example, a report on the quality of institutional care for adults with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in the WHO European Region found such care far below standard in many European countries. Similarly, none of the CRPD articles was found to be fully adhered to in Czech psychiatric hospitals (see article). 

The toolkit collects data on 25 standards within five interrelated themes:

• The right to an adequate standard of living (Article 28 CRPD); 

• The right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and of mental health (Article 25 CRPD); 

• The right to exercise legal capacity and the right to personal liberty and the security of person (Articles 12 and 14 CRPD); 

• Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and from exploitation, violence and abuse (Articles 15 and 16 CRPD); 

• The right to live independently and be included in the community (Article 19 CRPD).

Assessment of each of the criteria that make up the standards enables assessors to determine whether a particular standard has been met, which in turn, help to determine whether each overarching theme has been met. The government's current reforms of the Mental Health Act need to support the transformation of mental health systems in line with CRPD (see previous post).

The QualityRights initiative is WHO's response to the need for transformation (see another previous post). The quality of mental health services needs to be improved globally and properly supported by human rights based legislation.

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