WHO guidance promotes person-centred and rights-based approaches on mental health

Photo of Saulos and his neighbour Valeti.

CBM Global welcomes the launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance and technical packages on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches.

Many people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities face poor-quality care, extensive violations, and discrimination. According to WHO, aside from being unable to access mental health services, numerous countries report that it is difficult to find services that respect and promote people’s rights. In many countries, it is common for people to experience violence, abuse, and neglect in health and social care services, as well as in the community.

The WHO documents will:

  • provide information and guidance to all stakeholders who wish to develop or transform their mental health system and services.
  • provide in-depth information to develop good practice services that meet international human rights standards and obligations and promote a person-centred, recovery approach, both in government and civil society sectors.
  • promote the creation of mental health services that operate without coercion, that are responsive to people’s needs, support recovery and promote autonomy and inclusion, and that involve people with lived experience in the development, delivery and monitoring of services.

This landmark guidance represents critical milestone in supporting mental health reform efforts and is timely to ensure that we build back better in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Dr. Julian Eaton, Mental Health Director of CBM Global, says:

“QualityRights has proved to be a game-changer for supporting local action to make national mental health services more accountable to service users and to align to the highest international human rights standards. This new resource will provide real-world examples of how to do this in practice, further strengthening efforts to meaningfully change the experience of people seeking support from health systems around the world.”

CBM Global, through Dr. Julian Eaton, provided advice in the content development of the WHO guidance. Access the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance and technical packages on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches.

Main Image: Saulos (45) and his neighbour Valeti. Saulos is Chair of the Mpemba Committee of the Mental Health Users and Carers’ Association (MEHUCA), CBM’s partner in Malawi. ©CBM/Eshuchi

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