By Sarah Bonato, Reference/Research Librarian, CAMH Library
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December to honour the anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 2018 marks the 70th anniversary.
See below for a research resources on the importance of mental health in a human rights context.
Human Rights-Based Approaches to Mental Health: A review of programs (2016), by S. P. Mann, V. J. Bradley & B. J. Sahakian
From Health and Human Rights, 18(1), 263[text]
- In this review article, the authors discuss how a human rights-based approach (HRBA) can be used. A HRBA approach means avoiding human rights violations and also ensuring that service providers prioritize human rights principles. Although the authors note that there are not many studies on HRBA approaches in mental health treatment, there’s still evidence that a human rights based approach can be successfully and beneficially applied. An especially helpful resource for reading about specific HRBA approaches used to promote the mental well-being of service users.
Access at https://www.hhrjournal.org/2016/05/human-rights-based-approaches-to-mental-health-a-review-of-programs
We Have No Rights: Arbitrary Imprisonment and Cruel Treatment of Migrants with Mental Health Issues in Canada (2015)
From the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law
- This report is the result of an investigation by the IHRP on the treatment of immigration detainees, with a focus on those with mental health issues. The authors document how imprisonment adversely effects mental health, and may cause psychological illness, trauma, depression, anxiety, aggression, along with other physical, emotional and psychological problems. A valuable report for gaining an understanding of the immigrant detention system in Canada and reading about the lived experience of detainees.
Access at https://www.law.utoronto.ca/utfl_file/count/media/ihrp_we_have_no_rights_report_web_version_final_170615.pdf
Policy on Preventing Discrimination Based on Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions (2014)
- The Ontario Human Rights Code protects Ontarians from discrimination and harassment based on disability, including mental health and addictions disabilities. The aim of this policy document is to provide clear, user-friendly guidance on how to assess, handle and resolve human rights matters related to mental health and/or addictions issues. Includes info on mental health and addiction as a disability, the many types of discrimination, the duty to accommodate needs, and how to respond and prevent discrimination. It’s also an excellent source for info on the history of discriminatory practices against Canadians with psychosocial disabilities.
Access at http://www.ohrc.on.ca/sites/default/files/Policy on Preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions_ENGLISH_accessible.pdf
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