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Health experts to discuss human rights of mentally ill in Korea
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2019.04.26 11:58
  • Updated 2019.04.26 17:19
  • comments 0

Mental health experts and policymakers around the world will visit Korea to discuss human rights conditions of people with mental disorders and treatments.

The World Health Organization and Yongin Mental Hospital WHO Collaborating Center will jointly hold the “WHO QualityRights International Workshop on Best Practices of Community-based Mental Health Services” at Incheon Grand Hyatt Hotel from April 30 to May 3.

QualityRights, the key topic of the event, is the WHO’s guideline for mental health services to promote human rights and improve the recovery of people with mental disabilities. The guideline was based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

In Korea, Yongin Mental Hospital WHO Collaborating Center and the Korea Human Resource Development Institute for Health and Welfare (KOHI) started providing QualityRights for mental facilities in November.

The workshop will introduce exemplary mental health services cited in QualityRights. They will include the human rights of the mentally disabled, recovery paradigm, non-coercive treatment, and enhancement of community services.

Dainius Pūras, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to health, will give a keynote speech. German’s non-coercive treatment model at Heidenheim Hospital, New Zealand’s Crisis House model, and Denmark’s Open Dialogue Approach will be introduced as desirable treatment practices at the early stage of a mental disorder.

Cases of Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, Japan, and Korea will demonstrate “peer support” where a mentally ill person helps another patient and good primary care.

“The core contents of QualityRights are closely related to the recent issue of the revision of Korea’s ‘Mental Health Welfare Act,’” Yongin Mental Hospital WHO Collaborating Center said. “The CRPD-based mental health services presented at the workshop are partially in conflict with the local movement to enhance management of the mentally disordered and coerced treatment order. Here, a heated debate is expected.”

According to the CRPD, separate legislation to allow forceful psychiatric admissions or court order to treatment is not advisable, Yongin Mental Hospital WHO Collaborating Center said.

“But voices are growing to reinforce state power to coerce treatment and control of the mentally ill to prevent incidents and missed-out patients. So, the upcoming event will provide an opportunity to discuss solutions in detail,” it said.


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