Mental Health and Human Rights: The Role of the Law in Developing a Right to Enjoy the Highest Attainable Standard of Mental Health in Australia
Journal of Law & Medicine, Vol. 15, p. 773, 2009
12 Pages Posted: 5 May 2010
Date Written: 2009
Article 12(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights requires governments to recognise “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”. However, the traditional focus of mental health laws on the treatment and detention of those with low-prevalence serious mental illnesses may have skewed resources such that the development of a right to mental health for all individuals with mental illnesses has been stymied. In Australia, a number of inquiries and reports have found that while legislation has been changed to comply with human rights principles, access to mental health care and follow-up post-hospitalisation need critical attention. This article outlines a five-year project aimed at exploring how mental health laws can help develop and support a right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of mental health.
Keywords: Mental Health, Human Rights, Australia, right to mental health, role of law
JEL Classification: K00, K3, K32, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation