This week the global community marks not one but two important days for mental health:

Human Rights Day, December 10

Today marks Human Rights Day. According to the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, all governments must have a national policy or plan for mental health in line with international and regional human rights instruments.

United for Global Mental Health and our partners are calling for all governments to uphold all people’s rights (including both adults and children) to access the right care at the right time as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Moreover, all governments and relevant stakeholders must ensure persons with mental health conditions are at the centre of the mental health response, and be involved in the design, implementation, delivery and evaluation of personal, recovery-focused mental health care and services. Services must respect the will and preferences of users.

To mark Human Rights Day, our partners at Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN) have produced a new policy briefing to explain to policymakers what actions need to be taken to ensure human rights are upheld.

Universal Health Coverage Day, December 12

December 12 marks Universal Health Coverage Day. All governments are committed to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) according to the indicators and targets agreed i.e. reducing the rate of suicide; doubling the coverage and treatment rates for alcohol and substance abuse disorders; and achieving universal health coverage by 2030.

United for Global Mental Health and its partners believe all governments, and relevant stakeholders must ensure mental health prevention, care and service delivery are integral to the policy and practice of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Most services should be community-based and integrated across primary care, specialized care, social care and housing. And mental health must be included in efforts to effectively address both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

The Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN) has produced two other policy briefings that cover these issues: one policy briefing on the Sustainable Development Goals and one on the report of the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and the Sustainable Development Goals. You can find links to these briefs here, as well as more information on our advocacy work.

Learn more about our partners’ work around the world on these and other key issues.