New WHO QualityRights e-training: Advancing Mental Health, Eliminating Stigma, and Promoting Inclusion

Written by Michelle Funk, Natalie Drew Bold, Celline Cole, Emily McLoughlin, and Maria Francesca Moro

On April 12, Dr Tedros, Director General of the World Health Organization, launched the new WHO QualityRights e-training on mental health minister, recovery and community inclusion, together with Dr Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, severals of Health , and other high-level representatives from countries, UN organizations, and civil society groups.

QualityRights is the World Health Organization’s global initiative to improve the quality of care in mental health and related services and to promote the rights of people with mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities. The major areas of work at the core of the QualityRights initiative are:

  • Building capacity among all stakeholders to improve attitudes and practices to address stigma and discrimination and promote human rights and recovery
  • Supporting countries in the creation of community-based services and supports that respect and promote human rights
  • Promoting the participation of persons with lived experience and supporting civil society
  • Supporting national policy and law reform in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and other international human rights standards

Through the QualityRights initiative, WHO has developed a range of training and guidance tools and materials to strengthen knowledge and build capacity on rights and recovery. One of the key tools developed is the QualityRights e-training on mental health, recovery and community inclusion. The e-training is currently available free of cost in the following 11 languages: English, Spanish, French, Armenian, Bosnian, Czech, Estonian, Filipino, Italian, Polish, and Turkish. More languages ​​will be added, including Arabic, Ukrainian, Bengali, Croatian, Indonesian, and Nepali.

Sign up for the WHO QualityRights e-training here:
https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use/policy-law-rights/qr-e-training

An evaluation of e-training implementation to date has demonstrated highly significant shifts in attitudes aligned with reduced stigma and discrimination and the need to end coercive practices and promote self-determination and legal capacity. These results highlight the effectiveness of the e-training in bringing about the required change in mindsets and attitudes to advance mental health, eliminate stigma and discrimination, and promote person-centred, rights-based approaches in mental health.

The e-training content is relevant to all stakeholders including health and social care providers, policy makers, humanitarian workers, OPD’s, NGO’s, family and care partners, and people with lived experience. It covers six core and two advanced case study modules (see Box 1) using different types of learning materials like short videos and information sheets, as well as discussion forums where learners can exchange experiences, learn from each other, and ask questions. Once all six modules are completed, an official WHO certificate of completion is awarded to the learner.

All service providers, people with lived experience, and other stakeholder groups the community at large around the world including are encouraged to take the QualityRight e-training and also to share the information and link to the QualityRights e-training with others in their wider networks . This will help ensure a new and much needed approach in service provision where the treatment, care, and support are provided are rights-based and recovery oriented.

The WHO highly values ​​the partnership and support of Mad in America in its efforts to promote and implement a rights-based approach and recovery orientation in mental health. Through collaboratively spreading the QualityRights e-training in all countries, a transformation of mental health services can be achieved.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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