Global Issues

International activist concerns on human rights and alternatives in the mental health system.

Folder Globalization of psychiatry
Concern about expansion of the mental health industry to poor & developing countries.
News Item Report documents human rights violations in Turkey psychiatric facilities.
Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) released a 2005 report about human rights abuses in Turkey, including electroshock of children. MDRI is a sponsor group of MindFreedom International.
News Item World Health Organization (WHO) Exposes a Global Emergency of Human Rights Violations in the Mental Health System.
The World Health Organization announced they are dedicating International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2005 to all people diagnosed with mental disorders “and the all-too-prevalent violations of their basic human rights.”
News Item A MindFreedom Delegation in the United Nations for Meetings on Disability and Human Rights.
This essay celebrates the MindFreedom delegation once again entering the United Nations, in this case on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, 16 January 2006.
Page Report by John McCarthy — MindFreedom delegate in the United Nations
John McCarthy flew in from Cork, Ireland to help represent MindFreedom in 2006 meetings in the United Nations to create a successful “Convention” or treaty about disability and human rights. Here’s John’s first hand report about the experience.
Folder wpa-dresden
A number of psychiatric survivor and mental health consumer organizations have united to speak out directly inside a special conference by the World Psychiatric Association on the topic of ending coercion and force in the mental health system.
Folder IAACM
Watch for upcoming news about the launch of the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment, with support from Mad Pride 2007 and MindFreedom International.
Folder Russian psychiatry
Mental health system human rights abuse in Russia is gaining international attention.
Folder torture
This material is on the controversial intersection between torture and the mental health system, such as the presence of mental health professionals during extreme interrogation of prisoners.
News Item Belgium Psychiatric Survivor Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The following news announcement was forwarded by European Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP) about one of their member groups in Belgium, UilenSpiegel, which is celebrating their 10th anniversary. UilenSpiegel is also planning a Mad Pride celebration. Dan Taylor, secretary from MindFreedom Ghana in Accra, Ghana, Africa, intends to attend.
Folder United Nations and Disability Rights
MindFreedom’s team in the United Nations worked hard for years with activists from all over the world to create a treaty on disability and human rights.
Page World Health Organization Study Comparing Mental Health Recovery in Developed & Developing Nations
The World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored major studies comparing how people recover in poor and more developed nations. The people in the poorer developing nations, on average, recovered at a far higher rate. Here is information about those studies. MindFreedom asked Professor Norman Sartorius to briefly summarize these studies, which he was directly involved in leading. The views expressed are those of Dr. Sartorius.
Image Norman Sartorius
Norman Sartorius, MD, past Director of the Division of Mental Health of World Health Organization, retired in 1993. Dr. Sartorius helped conduct studies comparing mental health recovery rates in poor and more developed nations.
File Healing Angola’s Mind: The Medical Rehabilitation of Those Affected by Civil War
A paper by Samantha Figueroa, available here as an MS Word document, on transitional justice and pychosocial rehabilitation in the aftermath of the civil war in Angola, Africa.
Folder Nepal
Information regarding mental health human rights in Nepal.
Article “Freedom from Torture or Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment”
A piece by Kate Millett, read at the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in New York City on January 18, 2005.
Folder Norway
Information on mental health human rights in Norway.
Page “Human Rights for All” Tour
MindFreedom is one of the co-sponsors of a national tour by the US Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Here is current information available.
Article “The Americanization of Mental Illness”
In this New York Times article, Ethan Watters explores the impact of the spread of American culture on the understanding of mental health issues outside of the United States.
Article Americanizing the global mind?
This is a review by Andrew Rasmussen of the book “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche” by Ethan Watters. The review is published by STATS, affiliated with George Mason University in Virginia, USA.
Image Bendetto Saraceno, MD – Psychiatrist
Dr. Benedetto Saraceno is a psychiatrist trained in public health who served as Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization (WHO) until February 2010. While at WHO, Dr. Saraceno has made a number of supportive statements about MindFreedom International and its director, David Oaks. Dr. Saraceno had WHO call the current human rights situation in mental health an “emergency,” and agreed there should be no forced electroshock. On 1 March 2011, Global Initiative on Psychiatry (GIP) announced that Dr. Benedetto Saraceno has become chairman of its board.

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