Mental Health Europe (MHE) welcomes the launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) long-awaited guidance on community mental health services on 10th June 2021 and calls on European, national and local authorities to transform their mental health systems and services towards human-rights compliant care.
Commenting on the release of WHO guidance and technical packages, Acting Director of Mental Health Europe Liuska Sanna said: “This landmark guidance represents a critical milestone in supporting mental health reform across Europe. If we want to ensure that we build back better in the aftermath of COVID 19 and that our mental health systems respond to people’s needs, we must scale up these innovative approaches to promote recovery, autonomy and inclusion”.
Community-based services and supports that respect people’s rights need to be developed and expanded: services that do not use coercion, promote holistic recovery approach and the right to legal capacity, informed consent, participation and community inclusion.
In addition, governments should implement strategies to end the use of coercive practices such as seclusion and restraint as well as any form of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. People’s choices and decisions about their treatment, care and support must be respected. Going forward, European, national and local governments should provide person-centered holistic care addressing all important areas of a person’s life, including relationships, work, family, and education – rather than focusing solely on symptom reduction.