August 2016
Letter from the WPA President (5 August 2016)

Dear Friends, dear Colleagues, 

I would like to draw your attention to WPA Bill of Rights attached herewith. I would be grateful if your organisation will be willing to sign it. If you are able to then please let us have your logo. 

I would also like to draw your attention to the next WORLD MIND MATTERS DAY 2016 

Last year’s World Mind Matters Day was a great success and in 2016 we will continue to work towards a mutual goal of achieving fairness in mental healthcare for all across the world. This year, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) will be launching global findings which reveal the level of discrimination faced by people with mental illness in regards to voting rights, marriage, employment and right to contact. The global survey funded by the WPA, examined laws and policies in 193 United Nations (UN) member states. The results, included in the ‘Social Justice for People with Mental Illness’ report, were published in the International Review of Psychiatry and concluded that: 

  • 37 per cent of countries prohibit marriage by people with mental health problems

  • In 36 per cent of countries, people with mental health problems are not allowed to vote

  • In nearly a quarter of countries, there are no laws preventing discrimination in the recruitment of people with mental health problems.

  • In over half of countries, there is no explicit protection in laws against dismissal/termination/suspension of employment on grounds of health reasons including mental health problems

  • 38 per cent of countries deny right to contract to persons with mental health problems 

The findings have led the WPA to create a Bill of Rights for Individuals with Mental Illness which urges ALL governments to ensure that persons with mental illness are not discriminated against based on their mental health status, and are treated as full citizens enjoying all rights on an equal basis with others. The Bill has so far been supported by 17 organisations and if you would like to also lend your support to the Bill, please send your organisation’s logo to wpamedia@munroforster.com. 

By communicating around the global survey results and the Bill of Rights on our official annual awareness day, we hope to effectively call for clinicians from around the globe to work with patients, their carers, and their families, as well as with relevant organizations representing these groups, to challenge discrimination, change laws, and ensure that these are applied equally. 

Communications Plan 

The WPA will be implementing a communications programme that will entail global and national media contact, a website update and creating social media buzz and will aim to raise as much awareness of the global survey results and Bill of Rights as possible.

 1. Messaging

For your information, the key messages for external audiences around this year’s World Mind

Matters Day have been listed below:

  • On World Mind Matters Day 2016, a global survey funded by the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), of laws and policies in 193 United Nations (UN) member states reveals the level of discrimination faced by people with mental illness in the areas of marriage, voting rights employment and right to contract.

  • The survey results were included in the ‘Social Justice for People with Mental Illness’ report published in the International Review of Psychiatry. 

  • The findings have led the WPA to create a ‘Bill of Rights for Individuals with Mental Illness’ which urges ALL governments to ensure that persons with mental illness are not discriminated against based on their mental health status, and are treated as full citizens enjoying all rights on an equal basis with others. The Bill of Rights has already been supported by 17 organisations. It is important, that clinicians around the globe work with patients, their carers, and their families, as well as with relevant organizations representing these groups, to challenge discrimination, change laws, and ensure that these are applied equally.

  • The ‘Social Justice for People with Mental Illness’ report and ‘Bill of Rights for Individuals with Mental Illness’ can be viewed at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/iirp20/28/4?nav=tocList.

 2. Media contact

To raise awareness of our activity during World Mind Matters Day, the WPA will

  • Distribution of a press release to global media, including outlets targeted at general public and mental health, primary care and social care professionals. Phone contact with journalists from these outlets with the aim of getting coverage.
  • Distribution of a press release to national media across Europe and Australia, India, China and US.

How you can help?

To help extend the global reach of this year’s World Mind Matters Day, it would be great if your organisation could translate, adapt, review and distribute the WPA’s release [attached for your use] to their local media. Please note that there is a strict embargo for the press release of 00.01 (GMT), 5 September 2015. If you do go ahead with distributing the release, it is likely that media might want to speak to a representative for your organisation. If so, we would ask you to ensure that the chosen spokesperson is fully briefed on the key campaign messages (see above) and the content of the press release. You may also want to point them in the direction of The ‘Social Justice for People with Mental Illness’ report and ‘Bill of Rights for Individuals with Mental Illness’ which can be viewed at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/iirp20/28/4?nav=tocList.

3. Website update

The WPA website (http://www.wpanet.org/) will also be updated in time for the 5th September 2016 to include a page dedicated to this year’s World Mind Matters Day. The page will have the address http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/. WPA will also be adding a series of one-minute videos by Dr Sharma around certain aspects of mental health. These will be available on the Media Gallery Section of the WPA website found at http://www.wpanet.org/VideoGallery.php.

 

How you can help?

You may want to link from your website to http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/ so that visitors to your site can access this information directly. Additionally, if you are able to, you might consider adding an article or a summary about the campaign onto your website or a newsletter, and its content could be based on the press release that is provided to you.

 

4. Social media activity

Social media channels such as twitter provide an effective platform from which to raise awareness of World Mind Matters Day 2016, global survey and the Bill of Rights. The WPA head office will be tweeting from @wpa_headoffice about World Mind Matters Day before, during and post-launch. The campaign hashtag, #WMMD16, will be used in all social media activity.

How you can help? 

Template tweets [see below] have been developed for your organisation to review, translate, adapt and add to their feeds. Once the content for the tweets has been approved by your organisation, it would be great if you could add it to your feeds.

Suggested content for tweets is below:

Pre-Launch – before 5th September 2016

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

Coming soon, new stats reveal discrimination faced by those with mental illness #WMMD6

Do you know the level of discrimination faced by people with mental illness?

#WMMD16

World Mind Matters Day 2016 aims to expose levels of discrimination faced by those with a mental illness

#WMMD16

Launch Day – on or after 5th September 2016

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

People with mental illness deserve more rights #WMMD16 http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/

1/3 of UN member states don’t permit people with mental illness the right to vote / marry #WMMD16 http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/

37% of countries prohibit marriage by people with mental health problems

#WMMD16

http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/

Post – Launch – after 5th September 2016

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

Nearly 1/4 of countries have no laws preventing discrimination in recruitment of people with mental illness #WMMD16 http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/

Bill of Rights - ALL governments to ensure that persons with mental illness are not discriminated against

#WMMD16 http://bit.ly/2bN7UI7

There is no explanation 4 continuing discrimination against individuals with mental illness #WMMD16 http://wpanet.org/WMMD16/

 

Additional support

A communications consultancy, Munro & Forster is working with the WPA on World Mind Matters Day 2016 and are available for any questions that you might have around this campaign. Contact details for the Munro & Forster team are:

 

Olivia Lazarus   Olivia Lazarus
rita.martins@munroforster.com   olivia.lazarus@munroforster.com

 

Click to View Letter from the WPA President 5 August 2016

  

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