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Welcome to the newsletter #10 for the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform
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The International Forum on Promoting the Rights of Children with Mental and Intellectual Disabilities, organized by the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform, will take place on the 6th and 7th November, in Lisbon.

During this Forum key global health leaders will present lectures on the rights of people with mental disabilities, and a report on strategies to stop human rights violations of children with mental disabilities will be presented and discussed. 
The Mind Rights Film Festival and its Award Ceremony will also be held during the Forum.
 
You are cordially invited to attend this Forum. Admission is free, but please register here
 
The Mind Rights Film Festival


The Mind Rights Film Festival, fostered and supported by the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, is a short film festival and international competition that focuses on showcasing cinematographic works that deal with mental health issues, in order to promote the rights of people with mental disorders.

Learn more 
here and follow the Festival on Facebook.
Interview with Eric Rosenthal
Eric Rosenthal is Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International (DRI). Since establishing DRI in 1993, Rosenthal has conducted investigations and trained human rights and disability activists in more than 25 countries and provided assistance to governments and international development organizations worldwide. DRI reports have brought worldwide attention to the rights of people with disabilities.

Rosenthal has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the US National Council on Disability (NCD). On behalf of NCD, he co-authored US Foreign Policy and Disability (September 2003), a report that led to legislation to make US foreign assistance accessible to people with disabilities.

In 2008, Rosenthal received the Henry A. Betts Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) for “pioneering the field of international human rights advocacy for people with disabilities and bringing unprecedented international awareness to their concerns.” The  adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is, according to AAPD, “in no small part due to Rosenthal’s role promoting disability rights as a human right.”  In 2007, Rosenthal accepted the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights on behalf of Disability Rights International. In 2013, Eric Rosenthal was recipient of the Charles Bronfman Prize.
Which human rights are relevant for people living with mental health problems and what are the main rights abuses faced by people with mental disabilities?

Eric Rosenthal - In my twenty years of work at Disability Rights International (DRI) documenting conditions in three-dozen countries, we have found that the most extreme and serious human rights violations tend to take place behind the closed doors of segregated institutions – psychiatric facilities, social care homes, orphanages, prisons and jails – where people with mental disabilities and mental health problems are particularly at-risk. We have documented life-threatening conditions, denial of medical care, inhumane and degrading treatment practices and abuses at rise to  the level of torture. Without the protections of family and community, children and adults in institutions are especially at risk of violence and exploitation. In order to end these abuses, governments must create community-based services and support systems to allow for full community integration of people with disabilities.

It is important to recognize that all human rights are relevant to people with mental health problems or mental disabilities. Many critical human rights that we do not necessarily associate with disability concerns are routinely denied to people with mental disabilities e.g. the right to vote, the right to work, the right to receive appropriate health care, the right to inclusion in cultural and public life. This is why the anti-discrimination framework, which cuts across all these areas of activity, is so crucial. In addition to indirect or de facto discrimination, there are areas where there is still de jure discrimination in most societies. The denial of legal capacity and the right to make basic choices about life is one of the most important areas where almost every country of the world needs to their laws to conform to article 12 of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Do you think that the action of key stakeholder groups has resulted in growing recognition of the rights of people with mental disabilities worldwide?


Eric Rosenthal - Participation of stakeholder groups had an enormous influence on the drafting of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In addition, the participation of people with mental disabilities on the national and grassroots level has proven to be transformative in many parts of the world. User-run advocacy groups help to break-down the stereotypes that these people are not capable of making choices for themselves, let alone speaking for themselves or articulating their own concerns.  

In your opinion, what are the main implications that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will have on mental health systems?


Eric Rosenthal - Article 19 of the CRPD establishes a right for all people with disabilities to live as part of the community with choices equal to others. In  order to  make this possible, the practice of segregating people with disabilities from society in closed institutions must be brought to an end. Governments are under an affirmative obligation to provide services, treatment, supported housing, health care, and education, in the community to that people with mental disabilities can live full lives as part of society. Every country of the world needs to make progress in providing the community-based services necessary to enable full participation in society.
The CRPD also has major implications for donor countries, as well. Article 32 of the CRPD requires international donors to use their aid in a manner that advances the core principles of the convention. International funding to rebuild or expand segregated institutions –rather than supporting community integration – contravenes basic human rights principles of community integration and individual autonomy. International donors can to much more to assist to exchange technical assistance on reform and help replicated good practices of deinstitutionalization and community integration.
Interview with Manuel Costa Cabral
Manuel Costa Cabral is the president of the jury of the Mind Rights Film Festival.

Manuel Costa Cabral got a degree in painting in 1963 from the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon. In 1971-1972 he was a visiting student in the USA, under the auspices of the International Institute of Education and with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The goal of the visit was to study visual arts teaching programs, under the supervision of Prof. Rudolf Arnheim of Harvard University. After two months in Harvard the program was extended to 20 more universities. 

Between 1974 and 1977 he was a member of a team for training primary teachers in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, a project created by CIDAC (Center for Information and Documentation Amílcar Cabral). In 1973 he co-founded the Ar.Co School (Center for Art and Visual Communication) in Lisbon and was its Executive Director for 21 years. In 1993 he received the title of Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in London. 

From 1994 to 2011 he was the Director of the Department of Fine Arts of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. In 1982 he resumed his painting activity and has since then participated in solo and group exhibitions. From 1994 to 2011, as Director of the Fine Arts of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, he was responsible for the grants giving within the area of cinema. In 2006 and 2007 he co-produced with João Benard da Costa the event "How beautiful was cinema - 50 unforgettable films", as a part of the 50th anniversary of the Gulbenkian Foundation.
© Eurico do Vale
In your opinion, what is the importance of a film festival on the promotion of the rights of people with mental disorders?

Manuel Costa Cabral - The organization of an international short film festival, with films submitted to competition and to the scrutiny of a jury, is a timely opportunity to showcase the diverse topic of human rights in general and more specifically human rights of people with mental disorders.

Do you think that videos are an adequate way of raising awareness on human rights? Which is the best format to reach the public, fiction or documentary?

Manuel Costa Cabral - The documentary format is without a doubt particularly suitable for presenting the surrounding reality [of people with mental health]. Creative presentation of this reality increases public awareness of the issues that are covered.

What qualities do you believe make a good short film about mental health?

Manuel Costa Cabral - The qualities required for the making of a good short film are: clarity in the choice of objective to be achieved; self-restraint in the use of the numerous new cinematographic technologies now available; narrative rigor, with full respect for the harshness of the filmed reality and for scientific accuracy.
Mental health worldwide
The Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform supports the #FundaMentalSDG Call for Action to the United Nations.
#FundaMentalSDG is an initiative aiming to include a specific mental health target in the post-2015 development agenda. We are committed to the belief that there can be no health without mental health, and that there can be no substantial development without including mental health into the post-2015 agenda.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2014.
The purpose of the World Suicide Prevention Day, on 10 September, is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. Organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, World Suicide Prevention Day brings together individuals and organizations with an interest in suicide prevention, and mobilizes efforts to save lives.
First WHO report on suicide prevention.
World Suicide Prevention Day in 2014 marked the release by the WHO of the World Suicide ReportThis report provides a global knowledge base on suicide and suicide attempts as well as actionable steps for countries based on their current resources and context to move forward in suicide prevention.
International Youth Day 2014.
The theme of International Youth Day 2014 was “Youth and Mental Health” under the slogan "Mental Health Matters". Celebrating Youth Day, the United Nations stressed the importance of good mental health and that mental health should be talked about in the same way as overall health.
Ethiopia commits to expanding mental health services.
In rural Ethiopia, people who suffer from mental, neurological and substance use disorders have very limited access to care as mental health services are mainly centralized around Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa. However, things are changing slowly but surely.
Lebanon ill-equipped to handle mental-health issues of Syrian refugee children.
More than a million Syrian children in total have become refugees in Lebanon and in other countries. The stress has left many with mental illnesses that include anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and developmental problems.
Japan vows to cut suicide rate by 20% over 10 years.
Health officials have unveiled a $220m package of measures that include improving threadbare counselling services and monitoring websites that encourage like-minded people to enter into suicide pacts.
China struggles with mental health problems of 'left-behind' children.
Youngsters have been isolated by government one-child policy and parents moving to find work, but China is seeking to expand provision, promote psychotherapeutic approaches and adopt preventative measures.
Second chance salads: the urban farms that help disadvantaged people find a future.
Severn Project is a social enterprise producing and supplying salad throughout south-west England and beyond.
Unusual Drama School in Rome Is Set to Expand.
Teatro Patologico, an innovative drama school that offers classes to people with mental disabilities, is trying to turn his school into a full-fledged university.
NGO slams treatment of disabled children in Russian orphanages.
Human Rights Watch issued a damning report this week condemning the treatment of disabled children in Russia's orphanages, alleging abuse and neglect.
European Federation of Associations of Families of People with mental illness.
EUFAMI is a Federation of national and regional family organisations from across Europe.
Latest papers on global mental health
Check the Latest Papers section in our website:
Visit the Platform's website:
http://www.gulbenkianmhplatform.com
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