News / Health

WHO: Poor Treatment of Mentally Ill Violates Their Human Rights

Lisa Schlein

To mark this year’s Human Rights Day, the World Health Organization is urging countries to implement a new project called QualityRights, which aims to improve mental health services.  WHO says the project will help to end human rights violations against the mentally ill.  

The World Health Organization calls the abusive conditions endured by people with mental health conditions a hidden human rights emergency.  WHO reports that all over the world people with mental and psychosocial disabilities are subject to a wide range of human rights violations, stigma and discrimination.

The United Nations agency says global mental health care facilities offer the mentally ill poor quality care that often hinders their recovery.  

WHO’s Mental Health Policy Coordinator, Michelle Funk, says people in mental health facilities often are exposed to high levels of abuse and violence.  She says their living conditions are inhumane and the treatment they receive is degrading.

“For example, people can be overmedicated to keep them docile and easy to manage," she said.  "They can be locked in cells or restrained for days and months without food and water, without any human contact and leaving people to urinate and defecate in the very places where they are sleeping.  And, what makes these abuses even more shocking is that they are happening at the very hands of the health workers who are meant to provide care, treatment and support.”  

The World Health Organization says health care workers receive minimal training.  And, the group says workers do not understand that people with mental disabilities have human rights, which must be respected and not abused.

Funk notes violations are not restricted to inpatient and residential facilities.  She says many people seeking care from outpatient and community care services are treated with contempt and denied basic rights and services.

“Now, in the wider community, people with mental health conditions are unable to access health services and general social services, such as housing, education and employment-leading to poverty and also leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality," she said.  "And, what is more, because of these violations, people are condemned to living their lives in institutions or they end up homeless living on the streets.”  

Funk says WHO’s QualityRights project aims to tackle these violations.  First and foremost, she says the project aims to improve the quality and human rights conditions of mental health and social care services in order to put an end to these abhorrent conditions.

She says several countries already are implementing these programs.  They include Spain, Panama and Greece and India.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs