In the framework of a global investigation about human rights of people with mental health issues (PWMHI), a review of studies has been run where an explicitly HRBA was used in mental health care settings. Some interesting results have come up, highlighting a series of benefits defined as direct consequence of this innovative approach.
Human rights violations in the mental health care sector are described as a global emergency, which naturally invites us to reflect on the lack of justice and equality in our society. Indeed, the main aim to adopt a HRBA is related to legal and moral reasons. Nevertheless, this research also reveals its clinical potentiality: all the reviewed studies suggest that this approach can contribute to positive therapeutic outcomes.
Applying a HRBA means placing emphasis not only on avoiding human rights violationsbut also on putting human rights principles at the center of the service-providing process. It is an approach that can be implemented in several contexts and that, in the mental health care sector, is strictly related to the necessity to empower people and make them able to live a satisfying life in terms of inclusion, participation and freedom.
Ten studies completed from 2009 to 2014 have been included in this global investigation. They ranged from single experiences to nationwide initiatives carried out in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, South Africa, USA and India. They all report the beneficial effects of adopting the HRBA. Some of the benefits reported are: improved working relations between caregivers an patients, increased satisfaction with treatments, increased patients involvement, increased access to skills training and vocational opportunities, decreased need of anti-psychotic and mood elevating pharmacotherapy and many others.
The impact of the HRBA has been measured using a methodology mostly based on the available public reports, which have been mainly produced through interviews with patients, caregivers and staff. The reported quantitative data are not enough to ascertain the true extent of abovementioned benefits. Nevertheless, the investigation constitutes a first step to recognize that respecting PWMHI’s human rights is not only ethically and legally mandatory, but it can also improve their mental health and well-being.
For more information read: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5070696/