Sunday, October 2, 2022

Comments by Alva Finn

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

  • Hi there, thanks for engaging. I just wanted to clarify something – MHE has no affiliation or connection to MHA. Our organisation is a European membership organisation representing associations and individuals in the field of mental health including users and survivors of mental health services, professionals, service providers and volunteers. We don’t provide services and we have never accepted any financial support from Pharma. We have however, always been underlined by a commitment to human rights. If you’d like to read our position on supported decision-making and forced placement and treatment, you can see that here: We are also about to launch a report which maps the situation in Europe on institutionalisation and involuntary measures which we hope can shift systems away from the use of coercion.

    In terms of the division you have proposed between rights. I don’t see it as one obligation versus another. Human rights are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. Without the first and second set of rights you mentioned, people will never truly enjoy their human rights fully. The issues you mention above are interlinked, many people with disabilities rely on disability benefits to maintain their independence, for example.

    Thank you for engaging with the blog! This is just the sort of discussion that is needed and I really do encourage you to read the report.

  • Hi there, thanks for your comments. I just wanted to say that at my organisation we endorse a psycho-social approach and we try to fight back against the ‘disease’ and illness model. That’s why we don’t use terms like mental illness, disease or disorder. We have raised many of the concerns that you have regarding scientific evidence and diagnosis in relation to DSM-V and are currently trying to raise the alarm on this within the framework of the current revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

  • Hi there, thanks for your comment. According to human rights law, we also have a right to be free from abuse and violence which is intimately linked to our right to health, both physical and mental. I’d recommend having a look at the UN Special Rapporteur’s report to see a more full, though not exhaustive, examination of what the ‘right to mental health’ means. You will see, for example, that freedom from violence, abuse etc can also be viewed as a precondition or a determinant of mental health. However, freedom from abuse and oppression are not the only determinants for mental health. There are many more and they effect everyone differently ie housing, access to water, supportive family environments etc. So I do think that we have a right to mental health which encompasses a range of different things including a right to access appropriate and quality health services, to non-violent environments that nurture rather than harm us etc

  • Hi there, thanks for your comment. At Mental Health Europe we have taken a position, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, against forced placement and treatment. We advocate for supported rather than the substitute decision-making regimes which currently feature in mental health laws the world over and for the reform of these systems. While this is a very important point, the UN Special Rapporteur’s report says much more than I could in a simple blog post about what the right to mental health means which indeed goes far beyond just the right to access treatment and issues around coercive treatment, and involves the social determinants of health, freedom from abuse and violence etc. Having read your comment, I think you would find much to agree with in the report and I hope that you will read it.