solutions and tools

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:


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:
Oth­er lan­guages:

  • 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:
  • Hand­book:
    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
  • Basic­Needs
  • 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.