Mental health

WHO QualityRights Project – addressing a hidden emergency

WHO QualityRights aims to improve the quality and human rights conditions in inpatient and outpatient mental health and social care facilities and empower organizations to advocate for the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities.

The care available in mental health facilities around the world is not only of poor quality but in many instances actually hinders recovery. It is common 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. Violations are not restricted to inpatient and residential facilities however; many people seeking care from outpatient and community care services are disempowered and also experience extensive restrictions to their basic human rights.

The objectives of QualityRights are to:

  • Improve quality of care and human rights in inpatient and outpatient mental health services.
  • Promote human rights, recovery, and independent living in the community.
  • Develop a movement of people with mental disabilities to provide mutual support, conduct advocacy and influence policy-making processes.
  • Reform national policies and legislation.

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The QualityRights Tool Kit

The WHO QualityRights Tool Kit supports countries to assess and improve the quality of care and human rights conditions in mental health and social care facilities.

  • Suitable for use in low, middle and high-income countries.
  • Can be used by Governments and NGOs.
  • Supports improvements on the ground and at policy level.
  • Promotes participation of people with mental health conditions.


Contact details

Mental health policy and service development

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO Geneva.