Mental health charities to launch declaration of rights

The declaration sets out 19 rights which campaigners say are often denied to patients.

Health: Charities are to set out a declaration.
Health: Charities are to set out a declaration. © Publik15

A declaration of rights for mental health patients in Scotland is to be launched by a group of charities.

The Scottish Recovery Network (SRN), See Me and Voices Of Experience (VOX) have joined forces to ensure people with mental health problems are able to participate in decisions affecting their care.

The declaration sets out 19 rights the groups say are often denied to those suffering from mental health issues and aims to ensure this no longer happens.

It is being launched in Edinburgh on Monday with a question and answer session involving representatives from Scotland's five major political parties.

A key right included is for people to have meaningful participation in decisions that affect their health and to receive the highest possible standard of care.

Tracey King, 48, from Glasgow, said that after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, she felt "powerless" regarding her treatment, developed an eating disorder and hit crisis point.

She said: "I had tried my hardest to state my needs and even justify why I would like them met in my treatment, but I was ignored.

"I felt completely powerless and utterly invisible."

She added she would now use the right to an independent advocate to ensure she is not ignored.

Simon Bradstreet, SRN's director, said: "Often Scottish institutions don't know they are breaching people's rights when they fail to treat people with dignity and respect. But people also don't know they have these rights, or don't know how to access them.

"People can and do recover from the most serious mental health problems, but without accessing their rights, this is made much harder."

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