DAA News Network

UN: Report calls for inclusion of people with mental health problems in development programmes

Posted 20/9-10 at 23.54

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just published (September 16th) a report calling on governments, civil society and aid agencies to confront the "enormous challenge" of helping the millions of people in developing countries with mental and psychosocial impairments.

The report notes that due to widely held misconceptions about the causes and nature of mental health conditions, people with these conditions are subjected to high levels of stigma and discrimination. They also experience high levels of poverty and physical and sexual abuse, as well as often facing restrictions in the exercise of their political and civil rights.

Because of these issues, the report says people with mental health problems must be included in all development initiatives, mental health services should be increased and social and disability benefits provided. Finally, the people themselves must be part of designing development programmes.

In the forward to the report, Elena Chávez, President, ALAMO (a mental health service user organization) in Lima, Peru, writes:

. ... ‘This report is an important resource for the implementation of the CRPD. It will support beneficial interventions in our countries to reduce our poverty, promote respect for our dignity and right to legal capacity, guarantee us the exercise of our human, economic and social rights and provide us with the same opportunities that are provided to others in the community.'




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