Mental health groups set out rights manifesto

Mental health forum

​Leading mental health charities launch manifesto for rights ahead of Scottish Parliament election  

22nd February 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Mental health charities have launched a declaration of rights demanding people are able to participate in decisions affecting their care.

The Scottish Recovery Network (SRN), See Me and Voices Of Experience (VOX) have come together to set out 19 rights they believe are often denied to people with mental health problems.

Launched in Edinburgh today, one of the manifesto’s key rights is for people to have meaningful participation in decisions that affect their health and to receive the highest possible standard of care.

Simon Bradstreet, SRN's director, said: "Often Scottish institutions don't know they are breaching people's rights when they fail to treat people with dignity and respect. But people also don't know they have these rights, or don't know how to access them.

"People can and do recover from the most serious mental health problems, but without accessing their rights, this is made much harder."

Tracey King

Tracey King

After being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, Tracey King, 48, from Glasgow, said she felt "powerless" regarding her treatment, developed an eating disorder and hit crisis point.

She said: "I had tried my hardest to state my needs and even justify why I would like them met in my treatment, but I was ignored.

"I felt completely powerless and utterly invisible."

She would now use the right to an independent advocate to ensure she is not ignored, she said.

Gordon Johnston from VOX said: “The Rights for Life Declaration sets out the rights that people affected by mental health conditions in Scotland are seeking real progress on.

“It has been created by people with lived experience and reflects the key areas where people don’t feel they are treated equally and are discriminated against. 

“Tracey’s story shows the devastating impact on people when they aren’t listened to. We all need to be able to participate in the decisions that affect us.

"People can and do recover from the most serious mental health problems, but without accessing their rights, this is made much harder."

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