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“People with mental & psychosocial disabilities face human rights violations”

November 23, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

A mental health and human rights Lawyer from Greece has stated that people with mental and psychosocial disabilities still face a wide range of human rights violations in mental health institutions and communities.

Katerina Nomidou, who is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a consultant was speaking on Monday (November 21) during a mental health training for staff and commissioners of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL).

She noted that the skills of primary health workers were not sufficient enough to ensure detection and appropriate treatment of mental health problems.

According to her, Sierra Leone was still grappling with issues surrounding mental health and persons with disabilities.

She opined that mental health policies or laws give power to the government to take decisions regarding individual’s basic rights including, autonomy, bodily integrity, privacy, self-determination and liberty.

Madam Nomidou, a Greek Lawyer working on mental health issues was contracted by WHO to work with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in repealing the Lunacy Act of 1902.

Although International Instruments exist for adequate protection of the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities, they have not been used to protect the rights of people affected with it.