Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

By UN Special Rapporteur, Dainius Pūras          [Download Resource]


‘In an attempt to contribute to the discussion around mental health as a global health priority, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the right of everyone to mental health and some of the core challenges and opportunities, urging that the promotion of mental health be addressed for all ages in all settings. He calls for a shift in the paradigm, based on the recurrence of human rights violations in mental health settings, all too often affecting persons with intellectual, cognitive and psychosocial disabilities’


Key Content Areas:

  • Context
  • Global burden of obstacles – Dominance of the biomedical model, Power asymmetries, Biased use of evidence in mental health
  • Right to mental health framework
  • Shifting the paradigm


Rights-based care and support for mental health is an integral part of health care for all      …      An assessment of the global burden of obstacles alarmingly suggests their burden may be heavier than any burden of “mental disorders”. The crisis in mental health should be managed not as a crisis of individual conditions, but as a crisis of social obstacles which hinders individual rights. Mental health policies should address the “power imbalance” rather than “chemical imbalance”
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