Mental health information at your fingertips – WHO launches the MiNDbank
10 December 2013 | GENEVA - MiNDbank, a new WHO database goes online today, presenting a wealth of information about mental health, substance abuse, disability, human rights and the different policies, strategies, laws and service standards being implemented in different countries. It also contains key international documents and information.
Launched on Human Rights Day, the platform is part of WHO’s QualityRights initiative, aiming to end human rights violations against people with mental health conditions.
“People with mental disabilities still face discrimination, violence and abuse in all countries,” says Dr Michelle Funk, from WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. “The easy-to-use platform was established as a tool to facilitate debate, dialogue, advocacy and research on mental health, to improve care and to promote human rights across the globe.”
The care available in mental health facilities may often not only be of poor quality but can also hinder recovery. It can still be common in some countries for people to be locked away in small, prison-like cells with no human contact or to be chained to their beds, unable to move. The MiNDbank will help decision makers to address these issues, support reform efforts and ultimately improve the lives of people with mental health conditions in line with the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2013.
The database, established with support from a broad range of partners, allows visitors to tap into the health information of WHO Member States and other partners. Users can review policies, laws and strategies and search for best practices and success stories in the field of mental health.
“If a government, for example, wishes to develop a new mental health policy in line with international human rights standards it can - on the new platform - quickly get an overview about the policies of other countries and benefit from their experiences and an array of international guidance tools and resources,“ explains Nathalie Drew, WHO Technical Officer working on mental health and human rights. So far, already more than 160 countries are sharing key mental health information through the MiNDbank and updates will be provided on a regular basis.
The WHO QualityRights initiative was launched in 2012, as part of the drive to raise human rights and quality standards in mental health and social care. The goal is to end human rights violations against people with mental health conditions and promote high-quality mental health services in the community.
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