The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UN) have jointly released a new report called “Mental health, human rights and legislation: guidance and practice”.

The aim of the report is to support countries like Australia to reform laws to end human rights abuses and increase access to quality mental health care.

According to the report, human rights abuses and coercive practices in mental health care, supported by existing legislation and policies, are still common.

Involuntary hospitalization and treatment, dirty living conditions and physical, psychological, and emotional abuse characterise many mental health services across the world.

If you need support, please contact:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636


Image: Ending coercive practices in mental health – such as involuntary detention, forced treatment, seclusion and restraints – is essential in order to respect the right to make decisions about one’s own health care and treatment choices.

Produced By: Netta Finney

Featured In Story: Natalie Drew – Technical Officer, Policy, law and human rights, Department of mental health & substance, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland.

First aired on The Wire, Friday 27 October 2023