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Reform of mental health services: an urgent need and a human rights imperative

Commissioner for Human Rights Strasbourg 7 April 2021
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Reform of mental health services: an urgent need and a human rights imperative

“Already in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was warning that substantial investment in mental health services was necessary to avert a mental health crisis. The evidence for the devastating impact of the pandemic on mental health is now overwhelming”, says Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in her Human Rights Comment published on World Health Day, 7 April.

“The reasons for this are clear: the pandemic caused fear and anxiety for everyone, and many of us had to face illness, grief over lost family members, insecurity and loss of income. In addition to this extraordinary burden placed on our mental health, we were cut off from our usual support networks, friends and families, while the pandemic was also disrupting the delivery of existing mental health services themselves.” 


 Commissioner for Human Rights website


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