What is the “Action Platform for the Rights in Mental Health” program?
It is a program that underlines the problem of the violation of the rights of people with mental health problems and suggests effective ways to confront it.
How the whole idea came to life and was implemented?
How could this be achieved?
Through a series of actions, such as:
- The Advocacy Office that offers individualized support jointly by lawyers and clinicians. The main services include information, consultation, guidance and referral to other services and institutional bodies to users of mental health services. It works closely with representatives from users’ and families’ associations, trying to empower people to claim their rights.
- Mental Health Rights guide
- Development and pilot implementation of the reporting methodology for mental health rights violations
- Training seminars (workshops) to selected target groups (mental health professionals, lawyers, police officers etc)
- Compilation of legal information (digital library) about the mental health rights and reported violation cases
Which are the main causes for the violation of the rights of persons with mental health problems?
->Stigma. We have to change the common perception based on “the tolerance of the society” and “being charitable” and evolve to the recognition and respect of the rights of persons with mental health problems.
Which is the project’s added value?
The fact that tries to confront the problem of mental health rights’ violation through a more systematic and coordinated effort. For the first time, professionals fighting for the rights’ protection (legal actors) join forces with mental health specialists aiming to open a dialogue and take some key-first steps to face rights violation in mental health in a more holistic and effective way. Although the phenomenon of mental health rights violation is not new, any confrontation efforts done so far were either fragmented or weak enough. For instance, the psychiatric reform did not manage to bring significant changes and to cover gaps in the protection of mental health rights despite the breakthrough achieved both at institutional and organizational level. The project is therefore aiming to cover such gaps by uniting and enforcing individual voices and efforts so as to lead to systemic and long-term changes for the sake of populations in need (persons with mental health problems, family members and relatives) as well as of pertinent mental health actors. To this direction, experts on mental health and human rights, such as the Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health, Mental Health Institute for Children and Adults and the Hellenic League for Human Rights, collaborate closely in order to raise awareness, mobilize and prepare the ground for substantial changes and improvements on the field of mental health rights with the support of the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities.