Authors: Lucy Ledger
Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Independent Mental Health Advocacy, Supported Decision Making and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This presentation aims to provide an overview of how mental health advocacy services can operationalise a supported decision making approach. The development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2006 was a landmark for the disability rights movement globally. In particular, the acknowledgement of universal legal capacity (Article 12) and the imperative this created for supported decision making to replace substituted decision making regimes, heralded great significance in the context of mental health systems. Supported decision making refers to a system that comprises various support options which give primacy to a person’s will and preferences and respect human rights. This presentation will explore how the doctrine of supported decision making enshrined in the CRPD can be operationalised practically through a service, using the Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) program in Victoria as an example of this. An introduction to the international law giving rise to supported decision making will be provided before systematically demonstrating components of this in action through the collaboration of people using our service and non-legal advocates in the IMHA service.