Your Mental Health ‘Bill of Rights’

“For centuries, societies have crafted written standards to protect individuals and to promote their basic human rights. Two extraordinary examples were the Magna Carta of 1215 and the US Bill of Rights in 1791.

What if we decided to write a ‘bill of rights’ for mental health care? What would it look like? What ideals, protections, and guarantees would need to be included?”

“The many current problems with mental health services are well known, and they include inadequate access to care, unaffordability, lack of appropriately trained providers and unproven or ineffective types of treatment being offered.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, there is no universally accepted set of standards for what optimal mental health services should include. But what’s stopping us from writing one?

So, here’s a draft of what a ‘mental health bill of rights’ might look like.

Mental Health Bill of Rights

You have the right to:

1) Affordable, accessible care.

2) Be seen as a person, not an illness.

3) Be treated with respect and dignity.

4) Disclose or not disclose information about your treatment to others.

5) Receive care from appropriately trained, caring professionals.

6) Be fully informed of available and effective treatment options for your condition.

7) Be fully informed of the respective risks and benefits of each treatment option before deciding on a course of treatment.

8) Participate in the development of your treatment plan and have your input, preferences and goals incorporated into the plan.

9) Have family or other support persons involved in your care if you choose and grant permission.

10) Develop a mental health “advance directive” outlining your preferences for care during a mental health crisis, including the option of designating a trusted surrogate to make decisions for you.

Perhaps the time has come for us to collectively agree on a mental health bill of rights and enact it so such ideals can become the standard for mental health care.

Where do we start? Speak up! Talk with policy makers, mental health advocates and health care leaders.

Send the clear message that now, more than ever we need a core set of standards for how people with mental health concerns should be treated.

Let’s make this vision a reality.

Here’s a question: What other standards should be included in a mental health bill of rights? Please leave a comment. Also, please consider subscribing to my blog and feel free to follow me on Twitter, “like” my Facebook page, or connect on LinkedIn. Thanks!”

image-e1468028542585

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Your Mental Health ‘Bill of Rights’

  1. Reblogged this on Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning" and commented:
    Your Mental Health ‘Bill of Rights’
    by thecatalystsforchange
    August 6, 2015 by DavidSusman
    “For centuries, societies have crafted written standards to protect individuals and to promote their basic human rights. Two extraordinary examples were the Magna Carta of 1215 and the US Bill of Rights in 1791.

    What if we decided to write a ‘bill of rights’ for mental health care? What would it look like? What ideals, protections, and guarantees would need to be included?”

    Read more of this post

    thecatalystsforchange | March 6, 2017 at 5:26 PM | Tags: bill of rights , Mental health , rights | Categories: Mental health , Psychology , Repost|Share | URL: http://wp.me/p7jKej-HJ

    Like

  2. Excellent list! And yes, I should finally get around to completing the advance directive form I received during my WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Do you ever work with or attend NAMI? They are a great place to work with for mental health advocacy.

    What I wish could happen is for more psychiatrists and therapists to accept most or all insurance. I’m lucky to have a psychologist that accepts my insurance, but my psychiatrist doesn’t. I have to pay out of network fees for him. But he is worth the money. I don’t want to go to anyone else. But it is far less often the case that a general practitioner wouldn’t accept my insurance. That’s not fair! I see my psychiatrist many many times more often during the year than my general practitioner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never worked with NAMI, but I have used them as a resource for great information, and I greatly admire their work. It would be amazing to work with them one day!
      I understand your issues- healthcare can be very expensive, and many insurance companies do not want to cover mental healthcare because they do not see it as a priority. I hope that healthcare systems around the world will eventually perfect them and make them affordable.
      Best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

Let me hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s