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The Role of World Associations and the United Nations 

The Role of World Associations and the United Nations
The Role of World Associations and the United Nations

John Copeland

, Eugene Brody

, Tony Fowke

, Preston Garrison

, and Janet Meagher

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date: 16 October 2021

Non-governmental mental health organizations and the ‘consumer’ movement as human rights advocates provide the focus for the chapter by John Copeland, Eugene Brody, Tony Fowke, Preston Garrison, and Janet Meagher. They outline how the World Federation of Mental Health since 1948 advocated for rights, opposed abuses, and gradually included self-help groups and consumer organizations, and also discuss the World Psychiatric Association’s programme to reduce stigma. They chart the history of the mental health consumer advocacy movement, its spectrum of views and messages, and its increasing profile. Unfinished business includes the disempowerment and rights violations of people with mental illnesses in many countries, frequent absence or obsolescence of mental health legislation, and UN signatory nations not fulfilling their obligations. Emphasizing the voice of lived experience in national and international associations, the authors make the case for consumer involvement and representation in mental health care, in all levels of organizations, services, policy formulation, evaluation, promotion, and prevention. They signal the crucial role of families and carers. They flag the WFMH’s Global Consensus programme, and attempt to demonstrate agreement on key messages to governments and regarding what fundamental issues should guide the policy of the United Nations and its Agencies.

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