Mental Health Rights

Overview

People who are affected by psycho-social challenges often have their rights disrespected and preferences overridden. Protecting their entitlements under the UN declaration of rights for disabled persons and other domestic policies is essential across a range of social contexts.

Forced Medication

The coercive use of seclusion and restraint reflects the need for systemic change in Australia’s mental health system. Improving mental health care hence requires the prioritisation of a person’s autonomy and the development of alternatives to forced medication. Greater oversight and accountability must be achieved to ensure that out-dated and harmful practices are replaced with policies that emphasise individuality and reflect empirical research. 

Telecommunication Rights

The push for telecommunication rights in mental health is a push for a more humane, effective and supportive care system. A person taken from their home and assigned to a hospital must be able to keep their phone to communicate with their family and personal doctor, preventing physical and social isolation. International covenants and many countries uphold entitlement to telecommunication rights.

Education Rights

Education is an important factor in achieving the full development of an individual and must incorporate formal and informal education practices in locked hospitals. This includes literacy programs, vocational training, physical education, sport, hospitals, social education, higher education and library facilities. Education plays a significant role in the employment, rehabilitation and reintegration of people with psycho-social challenges. 

Visiting Rights

Visiting rights breaks down the social isolation of detainees in locked hospitals by providing physical, mental, and emotional support. Maintaining adequate connections with the outside world is an essential right for any person isolated with limited human contact.