Volume 9 Issue 8 - July 01, 2012

W.H.O. launches Toolkit on assessing quality of care in mental health facilities

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) has launched Quality Rights Tool Kit, which will enable assessment of quality of care and human rights conditions in mental health facilities and other social care facilities. The Tool Kit addresses care quality and human rights in inpatient, outpatient and community facilities by using a participatory approach involving people with mental health conditions, families and health care staff.

The Tool Kit recognises the fact that all over the world people with mental health conditions face a range of human rights violations, stigma and discrimination. In majority of cases, inhuman and degrading treatment practices are common, and people in facilities are often stripped of their dignity and treated with contempt.The Tool Kit attempts to improve the quality of services by building capacity of various stakeholders and reforming national policies and legislations.

Experts in the mental health sector have welcomed W.H.O.s efforts but have also expressed caution and apprehension. The Pan African Network of People with Psychosocial Disabilities (P.A.N.U.S.P.) in a press release welcomed W.H.O.s efforts to contribute towards the monitoring of human rights conditions in mental health and social care facilities but also expressed concern that the Tool Kit emphasises a medical model and service delivery approach and does not adequately reflect the ethos of C.R.P.D.

We call on the W.H.O., as a U.N. mechanism, to use its influence and power to ensure that State Parties do not invest any further resources in building mental health facilities that segregate people or discriminate against them. Rather State Parties must invest in community support mechanisms and that these supports are delivered within a human rights paradigm. Choices must be available in the community and this includes the choice not to use western medical solutions, the statement said.

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