The Mind Our Rights! event was devised in the context of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, which had a focus on Body Image, Human Rights, and Mental Health. The aim of the event was to bring 50 service users, survivors and people with lived experience and mental health professionals from various fields to come together to discuss human rights and key issues relating to mental health, physical health and body image.
The Scottish Government has stated that Human Rights are fundamental to the principles of mental health care and treatment; it is the role of mental health advocacy to support people with mental health issues to access their Human Rights and advocate for these rights to be met effectively and appropriately by national and local government and the services they fund.
Mental health advocacy groups in Edinburgh and Lothian have become increasingly aware through their work with patients, people supported by services and people with lived experience – our advocacy partners – that there is an ever-increasing gap between national/local government policy, strategy and the declared positive intentions of providers and the experience of people with mental health conditions/issues. Our advocacy partners are calling for
- the delivery of a genuine, consistent and coherent human rights approach within both statutory and third sector mental health service provision – this is currently failing.
- greater and more secure funding for support services for people with mental health issues that are provided by small, local third sector organisations and grassroots projects; these are currently under threat from shrinking local authority budgets combined with integrated joint board efficiency improvement measures and strategies
- Human Rights as set out in the UNCRPD must be realised for all people with mental health issues
Report by Patricia Anne Rodger | Community Collective Advocacy Development Worker at AdvoCard with support from Anne O’Donnell of LEARN/CAPS Independent Advocacy and Simon Porter of REH Patients Council and our advocacy partners