New UN Resolution on Mental Health and Human Rights

July 1st, 2016

Today, 1 July 2016, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution on Mental Health and Human Rights, led by Portugal and Brazil and cosponsored by 61 countries, with more countries still joining.

The resolution highlights:

(i) that “persons with mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities, in particular persons using mental health services, may be subject to, inter alia, widespread discrimination, stigma, prejudice, violence, social exclusion and segregation, unlawful or arbitrary institutionalization, over-medicalization and treatment practices that fail to respect their autonomy, will and preferences” and

(ii) “the need for States to take active steps to fully integrate a human rights perspective into mental health and community services, particularly with a view to eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination within that context, and to promote the right of everyone to full inclusion and effective participation in society”

This resolution provides additional impetus to address human rights in mental health and also signals a commitment by countries to achieve this.