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2 - Redefining International Mental Health Care in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2021

Michael Ashley Stein
Harvard Law School
Faraaz Mahomed
Wits University
Vikram Patel
Harvard Medical School
Charlene Sunkel
Global Mental Health Peer Network
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The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequities for people with psychosocial disabilities producing in its wake a serious obstacle for mental health policymakers and advocates committed to upholding Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To overcome this obstacle, stakeholders must resist a common tendency in international mental health policymaking: to over-invest in interventions that arise from a biomedical conception of mental illness. Instead, the pandemic is an opportunity to look beyond the dominant biomedical framework in international mental health care – which has a record of undermining Article 12 principles like legal capacity, autonomy, and self-determination – toward one based on human rights. This shift in positionality will serve to uphold Article 12 and help fulfill the spectrum of human rights for people with psychosocial disabilities.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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