WHO launches new online event to promote a new approach to community mental health services

Updated: Jun 8

Is rights-based transformation truly possible in mental health? … Yes, and it’s already started!

As part of WHO's ongoing work to revolutionise mental health practices and promote rights-based services, they have launched an online event to take place on the 10th June 2021. The event will discuss the importance of rights-based approaches and will share real-life experiences from people who have used such services as well as policy makers who are driving this change.


WHO believes many mental health services in high-, middle- and low-income countries around the world are failing people. Not only is access to services limited, but many people in distress or are experiencing mental health crises are not receiving the support they need to feel better and move forward. Many people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities are disempowered by mental health services and denied the right to decide over their own health and life choices. Some are further institutionalised and subject to coercive measures such as involuntary admission, forced treatment, seclusion, and restraints. These practices negatively impact people’s physical and mental health.


There is a different path that countries and services can take - no matter what part of the world. This is the path towards rights-based services that 1) respect people’s right to make decisions about their treatment and lives, 2) are free from coercive practices, 3) consider people in the context of their whole lives, and 4) support people to be included in their community. These services also learn from, and utilise the vast expertise of people with real-life experience in order to provide responsive care and support.


Join WHO on 10th of June at 15.00 CET for the their launch of their online event "New guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches". Here you will learn about innovative mental health services that are revolutionising mental health practices. You will also hear personal testimonies from people who use mental health services and service providers, as well as from national and international policy-makers who are calling for a sea-change in mental health. The event will include interpretation in Arabic, French and Spanish, and sub-titles will also be available.


The launch programme is available HERE.


What: New guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches

Where: Online event

When: 10th of June 2010

Time: 15:00 CET

How: You can register now HERE


(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar)

Author: Dr Michelle Funk, Unit Head, Policy, Law and Human Rights Unit, Department of Mental Health and Substance Use, World Health Organization (Twitter: @MichelleFunk3)

Follow @who on Twitter or visit the WHO website for the latest information.




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