Human rights first in mental health care

This is significant and increasingly compelling evidence that abuse if human rights is a core factor behind the development of mental health problems (bulling, poverty, sexual abuse, etc), and there are services emerging, in Europe especially, as well as more broadly internationally, which focus restoring these rights and focussing on the effects of these abuses as a primary focus for recovery interventions. In fact, the WHO has developed a programme of e-training which is designed to focus of this approach, and to be rolled out across jurisdictions as a framework for improving services thought adoption of this approach.

This approach has been developed under the leadership of Dr Michelle Funk, in Geneva (originally from Sydney), and there are acknowledgements in the accompanying literature for this programme for the input from many senior Australian clinicians, including from Professor Harvey Whitehead and Ms Clare Townsend from University of Queensland.

Please see this website for more details -

It's important to remember that this programme has been designed to rollout across a whole service or jurisdiction, in order to maximise he effect on services, as the evidence shows that this is the most effective approach, as it empowers the participants to work from the same base of knowledge to produce a series of changes which minimises the opportunities for the inertia of traditional approaches (usually based on existing, sub-optimal practices from persisting)

Why the contribution is important

In 1991 McGorry et al demonstrated that 46% of mental health inpatients met criteria for PTSD - many disclosing flashbacks and nightmares about experiences of restraint and seclusion. similarly, many mental health services endorse traumatic experiences in the life histories, which would be amenable to treatment - if they were disclosed during assessment of ongoing treatment, and these is substantial evidence (widely quoted in the literature from the ACEs Study) that there is a cumulative effect of multiple traumatic experiences which produce a dose effect on severity of mental health problems.

Without acknowledging and responding to this evidence in a systematic (and systemic) manner, no service can claim to be operating at best practice levels, and I believe QHealth has the will to be at this level, but not previously had access (which is free) to this level of quality training in this area

by benjamip on November 28, 2019 at 09:18AM

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  • Posted by calmerllama December 13, 2019 at 14:53

    Yes addressing human rights as part of our values is critical. A training program could be a good way to initially develop understanding of the meaning of this value. What else would need to be done?
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