In preparation for the 2013 Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meeting and consideration of the World Health Assembly (WHA) Mental Health Action Plan, the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance (CHPA), commissioned research on mental health legislation across the Commonwealth from a human rights perspective with a focus on best practice and highlighted where improvements need to be made.
The meeting was chaired by Dr Nicolaus Henke of McKinsey & Co. The speakers, included Dr Soumitra Pathare (who led the research), Coordinator, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, and Dr Michelle Funk, Coordinator Mental Health, WHO.
Dr Pathare outlined the results of their excellent review of Commonwealth member states’ mental health legislation.
The results of the research was released at the Commonwealth Partners’ Forum, sponsored by the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance, the Commonwealth Foundation, and McKinsey and Company, and held in conjunction with the 2013 Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meeting. The Forum was, titled: Mental Health – a legislative framework to empower, protect and care. You can find the executive summary of the review here.
The summary of the findings was that, little, no or very old legislation exists in many countries. Dr Funk elaborated on the need for relevant legislation and the role and importance of optimal mental health for civilisation. In comments, several country representatives described their own countries’ recent efforts and agreed that up to date legislation was imperative so that improvements in mental health can follow.
You can find the complete 2013 report of the Commonwealth Partners Forum here: report-civil-society-forum-on-mental-health-19-may-2013.