“A vast amount of psychiatric effort has been, and continues to be, devoted to legal and quasi-legal activities. In my opinion, the only certain result has been the aggrandizement of psychiatry. The value to the legal profession and to society as a whole of psychiatric help in administering the criminal law, is, to say the least, uncertain. Perhaps society has been injured, rather than helped, by the furor psychodiagnosticus and psychotherapeuticus in criminology which it invited, fostered, and tolerated.”
1. Human Rights Framework: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international human rights instruments form the foundation of mental health law. They emphasize the rights to life, liberty, security, privacy, non-discrimination, and access to healthcare for individuals with mental health conditions.
2. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): This United Nations (UN) treaty specifically addresses the rights of persons with disabilities, including those with psychosocial disabilities. The CRPD recognizes the rights of individuals with mental health conditions to be free from torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and promotes their right to access support services, inclusive healthcare, and legal capacity.
3. World Health Organization (WHO) Resources: The WHO provides guidance on mental health laws and policies through its Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package. This package includes resources on drafting mental health legislation, protecting the rights of people with mental disorders, and promoting community-based mental healthcare.
4. Regional Agreements: Regional bodies, such as the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), have developed regional agreements and initiatives to address mental health issues within their respective regions. These agreements may include provisions on mental health promotion, access to treatment, and protection against discrimination.
5. Mental Health Advocacy and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Numerous NGOs and advocacy groups work at the international level to promote mental health rights, raise awareness, and influence policy development. These organizations play a vital role in advocating for improved mental health laws and ensuring their implementation.
It's important to note that the implementation and enforcement of international mental health laws may vary across countries. National governments are responsible for translating these international frameworks into domestic laws and policies that are tailored to their specific contexts.
If you are seeking detailed information on mental health laws in a particular country, it is advisable to consult the specific domestic legislation, regulations, and resources related to mental health within that jurisdiction, as these may vary widely." (Source: ChatGPT: 2023)
International Academy of Law and Mental Health AILMH