EQUALITY, DIGNITY AND INCLUSION: LEGISLATION THAT ENHANCES HUMAN RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
The final report and evaluation instrument for this project have now been released. Click here to access the Final Report and here to access the Mental Health and Human Rights Evaluation Instrument.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Winnipeg Region in partnership with the Public Interest Law Centre of Legal Aid Manitoba was engaged by the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) Mental Health and the Law Advisory Committee to conduct research related to mental health, human rights, and relevant law, policies, and service standards. One of the Committee’s mandates is to examine Canada’s legal framework as it relates to persons with mental illness, including legislation, regulations, and policies.
The Mental Health and the Law Advisory Committee’s Evaluation Project Committee is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the research and development of instruments to evaluate Canadian legislation and assess mental health policies and service standards as it relates to the rights of persons with mental illness. The Committee has identified the need for evaluative tools to analyze the extent to which existing Canadian law acknowledges and protects the human rights of people experiencing mental health issues. Building on the work of a similar nature conducted in international jurisdictions including Scotland (Scottish Recovery Index, http://www.scottishrecoveryindicator.net/; Australia - Rights Analysis Instrument, http://www6.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-r-rights; the Council of Europe - http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/health/mental_en.asp; and the World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/WHOLegislationChecklist.pdf, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Winnipeg Region in partnership with the Public Interest Law Centre conducted research towards achieving the following project objectives:
- Developing an instrument(s) to evaluate the extent to which human rights are addressed in legislation, policies, and service standards as it relates to persons experiencing mental illness;
- Conducting a preliminary assessment of the degree to which the human rights of persons with mental illness are protected and advanced in existing federal and provincial legislation;
- Drafting a set of core standards for mental health services that reflect human rights and social inclusion principles; and,
- Developing a strategic plan that guides the dissemination of the instrument(s) developed to provincial and federal jurisdictions in Canada, including instruction on their use.
Backgroud on the project:
The instrument(s) developed to evaluate mental health legislation, policies, and service standards will be piloted in three jurisdictions, namely British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. The results of the pilot will form the basis for recommendations regarding legal, policy, and service reform that enhances and protects the human rights and social inclusion of Canadians living with mental health problems. A Consultative Group consisting of persons who have experienced mental health issues is a key component of the project. The Consultative Group will assist the Project Research Team to develop the evaluation instruments and provide guidance to the Project Research Team in completing each project objective. The Group will be consulted at regular intervals during each phase of the project. The Consultative Group will consist of:
- Two persons residing in each of the three pilot jurisdictions;One person residing in northern territory; and
- One person residing in Quebec
The Project Research Team, working in collaboration with the MHCC’s Mental Health and the Law Advisory Committee, will commence its work April 1, 2010 and the project’s anticipated completion date is September 30, 2011. The Project Research Team consists of:
Project Manager - Nicole Chammartin, Executive Director, CMHA, Winnipeg Region
Principle Researcher - Christine Ogaranko
Legal Advisor - Byron Williams, Director, Public Interest Law Centre
Legal Researcher - Beverly Froese, Attorney, Public Interest Law Centre
A Photovoice Equality, Dignity and Inclusion Presentation (August, 2011) was recently created by project participants. View the photovoice presentation created by the participants of the project describing their own human rights experiences in photos.
To view the Press Release sent out Monday, June 28, 2010 click here.
Learn more about the Consultative Group by clicking here.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s includes information about this project in their summer newsletter. See page 3 of the newsletter – link for newsletter in English, link for newsletter in French.
EQUALITY, DIGNITY AND INCLUSION: LEGISLATION THAT ENHANCES HUMAN RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS – Summary of first quarter report. Click here to access the report.
Questions pertaining to the Evaluation Project can be directed to:
Canadian Mental Health Association – Winnipeg office
Project email: firstname.lastname@example.org