On this page we want to introduce important policy papers about how to improve the situation of mentally disabled and handicapped people, as well as tools for performing the necessary changes on the practical site.
A general overview of the situation of Global Mental Health and the strategies that can be used to improve the situation can be found in a comprehensive article of the “Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and sustainable development” of 2018:
This text can be read for free, but requires registration. A non-official version can be found here:
On 9 and 10 October 2018 the first “Global Ministerial Mental Summit” took place in London with the participation of experts and political leaders from numerous countries. At the end two resolutions were passed:
“Global Declaration on Achieving Equality for Mental Health in the 21th century”
“Recommendations to Ministers”
Reports of the summit and the resolutions see under: https://globalmhsummit.com/home
The following UN document shows very clearly the situation of Global Mental Health, especially in Low and Middle-Income Countries, underlines the human rights aspect and makes recommendations for community-based care:
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Dainius Puras / Litauen, 2017)
(Unautorisierte) deutsche Übersetzung der DGSP:
The document in French:
An article about an original grassroots project in Zimbabwe appeared in the “Neue Züricher Zeitung” on 22 December 2018: “The wisdom of grandmothers”: Older women are trained as lay therapists, especially for depressive patients.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) started together with “Christoffel-Blinden-Mission” (cbm) a campaign aganist violations of human rights of mentally ill people in Ghana:
A more detailed report about the situation and the campaign of Human Rights Watch (HRW) concerning Indonesien:
An Initiative of LMU Munic for the education of “mental health workers” in Äthiopien:
The following text outlines the situation in Uganda, Zambia, Ghana and South Africa and presents a very interesting model trying to guarantee the rights of the mentally ill practiced in South Africa:
Crick Lund et al. / Protecting the Rights of the Mentally Ill in Poorly Resourced Settings: Experiences
from Four African Countries. In: Dudley, M. et al. / Mental Health and Human Rights. Oxford 2012.Explaining the Mental Health Tribunals:
About a Chain-Free Initiative in Somalia
WHO’s comprehensive mental health action plan 2013–2020 was adopted by the 66th World Health Assembly. Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, described the new Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020 as a landmark achievement: it focuses international attention on a long-neglected problem and is firmly rooted in the principles of human rights. The action plan calls for changes. It calls for a change in the attitudes that perpetuate stigma and discrimination that have isolated people since ancient times, and it calls for an expansion of services in order to promote greater efficiency in the use of resources.
The four major objectives of the action plan are to:
- strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health.
- provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings.
- implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health.
- strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.
English Version: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/89966/1/9789241506021_eng.pdf
Other languages: http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/action_plan/en/
- The QualityRights Tool Kit of the World Health Organization from 2012 already gives a far developed start for political stakeholders, mental health professionals and NGOs to work for human rights of mentally ill people.
You can download the Kit right here: http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/QualityRights_toolkit/en/
Dudley M, Silove D, Gale F. Mental Health and Human Rights. Vision, Praxis , and courage. Oxford University Press, 2012.
NGOs working in the field:
- MDAC (Mental Disability Advocacy Centre)
is an international human rights organisation that uses the law to secure equality, inclusion and justice for people with mental disabilities worldwide. We operate at the global level as well as regional and domestic levels in Europe and Africa.
MDAC is headquartered in Budapest, Hungary and was registered as a foundation by the Budapest Capital Court (registration number 8689) in November 2002. The Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded MDAC and continues to be one of its donors. We have participatory status with the Council of Europe and is entitled to lodge collective complaints under the Revised European Social Charter. It has special consultative status with ECOSOC. MDAC was long-listed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for its 2013 Vaclav Havel European Human Rights Prize.
- Human Rights Watch
- MHIN (Mental Health Innvovators)
- Fountain House
- Mental Health Worldwide
Mental Health Worldwide is a global network of individuals and organizations dedicated to work together to advocate and increase awareness about mental health and the related issues and conditions. Our mandate includes creating and strengthening mental health civil society especially in developing nations. We provide support and information for one another. Advocacy, awareness events, analyses of law and policies take place to make those currently invisible, visible at all levels of society.
- Suryani-Institut (Bali / Indonesien)
- Anjali (Westbengalen / Indien)
- Difäm — Gesundheit in der einen Welt. Deutsches Institut für Ärztliche Mission e. V. ( Malawi, Indien)
- International Network for Cooperation in Mental Health / Internationales Netzwerk zur Entwicklungszusammenarbeit im Bereich psychische Gesundheit e.V.