Again, this collection does not claim to be exhaustive. It is meant as an initial step to highlight good practices within COE Member States, including those promoted by civil society organisations. Ideally, the collection will be iterative and can be refined and expanded over time.
The broad definition of ‘good practices’ used in this report brings benefits and downsides. One risk is that defining good practices broadly will mean practices may be included that do not, on balance, promote and protect people’s human rights. Another possibility is that programs that reduce coercion in a small way (for example, minor reductions in seclusion rates on a ward) provide a false sense that enough action is being taken overall. For a detailed analysis of community mental health services that employs a rights-based criteria and assesses compliance, see the WHO Guidance on Community Mental Health Services report (World Health Organization, 2021).
However, the broad scope used in this report also has benefits; it allows delegates and civil society stakeholders to submit a wide range of practices that they see as promoting rights and creating coercion-free care and support. This can provide policymakers and others with more options that are appropriate to their context—and such practices can be analysed in more depth against rights-based and other criteria. This broad approach also allows for the inclusion of innovative practices that have not been subject to formal, scholarly research—this is particularly important for small-scale practices developed and led by mental health service user groups and disabled people’s organisations, which might be excluded in a systematic review with a strict inclusion criteria.
- Compendium report : Good practices in the Council of Europe to promote Voluntary Measures in Mental Health Services
- I. Background
- II. Good practices for reducing and preventing coercion in mental health settings in the Council of Europe
- III. Discussion