About Us

About Us

The Centre for Mental Health, Human Rights, and Social Justice was founded in 2020 as a response to the work of Dr. Dainius Pūras during his time as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard physical and mental health, where he used a right to health framework to advocate for a paradigm shift in how we understand and respond to mental health.

We are an independent and multi-disciplinary global community of scholars and activists dedicated to the study of rights-based approaches to mental health law, policy, and practices.

 Building on Dr. Puras’ legacy, we aim to promote a transformative and decolonised vision of mental health that centers the lived experience of directly-impacted people.

As a policy and research hub, we challenge status quo policies and practices in the mental health field while actively providing solutions for reform. We collaborate and work with individuals who have lived experience and/or identify as having a psychosocial disability.

View or download a PDF of our Centre Mission Statement & Project Overview


Julie Hannah

University of Essex

Lisa Cosgrove

University of Massachusetts

Dainius Pūras

Vilnius University

Cristian Montenegro

University of Exeter

Alberto Vasquez

Center for Inclusive Policy

Ann Carolina Florence

Columbia University

Akriti Mehta

London School of Economics

China Mills

London City University

Damon Barrett

Gothenburg University

Faraaz Mahomed

Wits University

Lee Edson Yarcia

University of the Philippines

Artin Mahdanian

McGill University


We partner with universities and organizations around the world to advance mental health policy and research that centers human rights.