Why a rights-based approach to global mental health is not “anti-psychiatry”

(March 2019)

Cosgrove, L. & Jureidini J. (2019). Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(6):000486741983345

In a recent ‘Debate’ article, Dharmawardene and Menkes (2018) criticize the 2017 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the ‘right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’ (UN Human Rights Council, 2017). While praising the Report for drawing attention ‘to the pernicious problem of human rights abuses of the mentally ill’, they conclude that it is imbalanced and ideologically biased against biomedical approaches (p. 1). To facilitate discussion and debate about how best to integrate a rights-based discourse into mental health policy and practice, we list their three main criticisms below and offer the following responses. Read more