Denied citizens

A man crouches inside a mental health institution
Harrie Timmermans /Global Initiative on Psychiatry
A man crouches inside a mental health institution

Mental health and human rights

People with mental disorders are some of the most neglected people in the world. In many communities, mental illness is not considered a real medical condition, but viewed as a weakness of character or as a punishment for immoral behaviour. Even when people with mental disorders are recognized as having a medical condition, the treatment they receive is often less than humane.

Human rights violations against people with mental disorders occur in communities throughout the world – in mental health institutions, hospitals, and in the wider community.

Photo essay: Denied citizens

Promoting the rights of people with mental disorders

Personal perspectives

If you would like to contribute to our efforts, please contact Dr Michelle Funk at funkm@who.int; tel: +41 22 791 3855 or Natalie Drew at drewn@who.int, tel: +41 22 791 32 06

Photo of man in cage by Eugene Richards