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[OPEN LETTER] 100+ organisations & individuals call for a new mental health paradigm

More than 100 organisations and individuals in Europe and beyond have voiced their support for the United Nations Special Rapporteur's report on mental health which calls for a shift away from isolating mental health services which are coercive and inappropriately medicalised to ones that are recovery and community-based and promote social inclusion.

An open letter, initiated by Mental Health Europe and the British Psychological Society, has now been issued, calling for concerted international action to implement the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations.

What does the letter say? 

The letter welcomes and endorses in the strongest possible terms the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Mr. Dainius Pūras, which highlights that mental health has been a forgotten issue for far too long, leaving too many people to suffer human rights abuses within mental health services.

The letter endorses the positive messages for a global approach to health and psychological wellbeing which moves away from the medicalisation of mental health and ensures the participation of diversity of rights-holders and relevant stakeholders including users and survivors of services, civil society and communities and empowers them.

The letter recalls that health is also a matter of social justice. Inequalities, poverty and abuse all impact on our physical and mental health, and the solutions are also political and social as well as technical.

What does the report say? 

-"The history of psychiatry and mental health care is marked by egregious rights violations"
- "We have been sold a myth that the best solutions for addressing mental health challenges are medications and other biomedical interventions".
- "Conventional wisdom based on a reductionist biomedical interpretation of complex mental health-related issues dominates mental health policies and services, even when not supported by research".
- "For decades now, an evidence based informed by experiential and scientific research has been accumulating in support of psychosocial, recovery-oriented services and support and non-coercive alternatives to existing services".

How to get involved?

If you would like to get involved and be added to the list of 100+ signatories please contact the Open Letter group HERE . Once you have signed, you will receive more information about dissemination. 
In the meantime, you can also share this post to help us spread the word on social media. 


Download letter HERE

The letter is also available in French HERE

Download report HERE 

Support us on social media #mentalhealthrights 


UPDATE: On August 15th 2017, Dr Oleg Chestnov, from the World Health Organization sent a response to the open letter reaffirming the WHO's commitment to the human rights based approach in the area of mental health. 


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