S52: Bringing Humanity & Human Rights into Health

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By October 5, 2023 No Comments

Authors: Priscilla Brice & Peter Schmiedgen

Year: 2023

Event: 2023 The MHS conference - Adelaide

Subject: Mental Health - Which rights matter most - A fishbowl Discussion

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Some of the most challenging issues in mental health today are human rights issues. These include the use of seclusion and restraint, involuntary treatment, and the use of locked inpatient units. As an alternative to the usual question and answer format panel, BEING will be hosting a fishbowl discussion at TheMHS this year to open a space for some of these issues to be discussed in a way that is inclusive of audience members. To kick off the discussion we are bringing together representatives of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Official Visitors Program in NSW (who regularly visit inpatient units in NSW), a senior NSW Mental Health Peer Worker, and the Policy Lead from BEING (the peak body for mental health consumers in NSW). During this one hour session, individual audience members will be able to join the central panel of speakers, share their thoughts, and progress the discussion further. We hope that as many audience members as possible will be able to participate in a discussion that de-stabilises the hierarchies of expert and audience and allows a conversational community to grow in its place.
Learning Objective
Key message – It’s time for Australia to take seriously the human rights commitments it has made that relate to mental health.
Relevance – This panel is relevant to the field of mental health because there is ongoing debate about the correct balance between consumer rights and the rights of the mental health treatment system and its representatives. Given discussions occurring about the development of a national bill of rights it is vital that we discuss the needs of mental health consumers – a group whose rights are often not considered.

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