Second Mental Disability Law Conference, University of Nottingham, 26-27 June 2018: Announcement and Call for Papers — UK

Excellent conference outline below — very happy to see the deliberate inclusion of human rights and those with lived experiences at a mental health conference especially one regarding policy & law! See below for description and call for papers. Please contribute/participate if you can.

Second Mental Disability Law Conference, University of Nottingham, 26-27 June 2018: Announcement and Call for Papers

Mental disability law (including both mental health law and mental capacity law) in the UK has come into its own in recent years, and there is now a wide range of researchers active in the field, in a variety of disciplines, along with people with lived experience.

This conference is sponsored jointly by the School of Law at the University of Nottingham, the Institute of Mental Health, and Making Waves and is endorsed by the Human Rights Law Centre of the University of Nottingham and the Society of Legal Scholars.  The organizing committee is Peter Bartlett (University of Nottingham and Institute of Mental Health). Julie Gosling (Making Waves) Jill Stavert (Edinburgh Napier University) Amanda Keeling (University of Leeds), Lucy Series (Cardiff Law School) and Maria Walls (NUI Galway).
The conference will combine plenary and breakout sessions.  Plenaries and confirmed speakers at this time include –
What do we Want from a New Mental Health Act?

Simon Wessely, Chair of the Independent Review into the Mental Health Act

Diana Rose, Professor of User-Led Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

Colin McKay, Chief Executive, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

 The Effects of Austerity

Julie Gosling, Director, Making Waves

Iris Elliott, Head of Policy and Research, Mental Health Foundation

Paul Atkinson, Free Psychotherapy Network

 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: What is this ‘New Paradigm’?

Margret Osterfeld, Member (Germany), Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture

Georg Hoyer, Member (Norway), European Committee for the Prevention of Torture

Dainius Puras, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health

Eilionoir Flynn, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI (Galway)

It is expected that half the presenters at plenary sessions will be people with lived experience of mental health/mental disability services.  It is also hoped that at least one fifth of the delegates to the conference will have such lived experience.
The conference organisers invite offers of papers for the breakout sessions from scholars of any discipline relevant to law and governance relating to mental disability (including psychosocial disabilities/mental health problems, learning disabilities, and dementia and related disorders of old age). There is no restriction on methodology:  papers may be empirical, policy-centred, historical, analytic, traditional legal, or theoretical, in approach.

A pre-conferences on 25 June will be held for student delegates and early career researchers.  Details about the preconference are available from Amanda Keeling (  Abstracts for the pre-conference are not required; students are encouraged to submit offers of papers for the main conference.

All attendees (including presenters in the breakout sessions) must register for the conference and pay the required attendance fee.  Reduced rates are available for service users and student delegates.
Offers of papers should be sent to Peter Bartlett ( on the attached form.  Deadline for submission of offers of papers is 01 May 2018.
Delegates may register for the conference by sending the attached form to Karen Sugars (

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FACEMI — National Forum for Families and Persons with Mental Illness — India

From our member in India:  Dr. Nirmala Srinivasan (Ashoka Fellow) has set up the first National Forum for Families and Persons with Mental Illness in India. FACEMI National Network — FAmilies AllianCE on Mental Illness. Please see contact and website information below. 

We are happy to announce the registration of the 1st national forum for families ( which means PMI included) with those under treatment for MI. Happy to e- intro our national spokesperson Shazada Khurram.

From website:
Set up by Dr. Nirmala Srinivasan (Ashoka Fellow) as an integral part of the advocacy initiative Action for Mental Illness, (ACMI), this national alliance is a lobby to strengthen the role of the families to access quality care for all the persons under psychiatric treatment or in need of one. It is important to note that the National Mental Health Policy 2014, upholds the principles of Family Care as the foremost care model in India. Nothing could be put to practice because most families are not aware of it; nor were they aware of the global impact of UN CRPD ushering in an era of rights based legislation for PMI.

From brochure:
A Family Advocacy Lobby
Families Alliance on Mental llness, National Network
The first national forum in India for persons with mental illness (PMI) and families

Implementation of Assisted Home Care under National Mental Health Program
Demand for Medical Insurance Parity for Persons with Mental Illness at par with other Indians as per the Laws
Campaign for dignity and safety of Orphaned Persons with Mental Illness
Service support for all Families-Urban/Rural; Rich/Poor

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‘Asylum’ British Law Prevails in Turks & Caicos — Turks & Caicos

See below for Part II from “What is the Law?” by Courtenay Barnett, Lawyer in Turks & Caicos who continues to fight the fight for individuals in Turks & Caicos “imprisoned for the ‘crime’ of being mentally ill”. Outdated laws continue to prevail in Turks & Caicos which happens elsewhere but in this case under British rule including “Her Majesty’s Prison as a place designated for the treatment and care of the mentally ill”. It is truly unbelievable that in 2017, almost 2018, this antiquated British law would continue to prevail. (Articles Part I and II recently published in Turks & Caicos Weekly News

In an administrative challenge, I had publicly informed then Governor Peter Beckingham that it was unlawful to have ordered the imprisonment of the mentally ill. My only exchange with His Excellency was subsequently when he approached me at the Bohio Hotel to state that he was not uncomfortable with my challenge but did not like being called a racist. I declined to respond or comment. However, in a letter to the Secretary of State of the 1st day of November 2017, I said this:

“In the Privy Council  case of McLeod v. St. Aubyn [1899] AC 549, at 561,  it was ruled:

“ Courts in this country (England) are satisfied to leave to public opinion attacks or comments derogatory or scandalous to them. But it must be considered that in small colonies consisting principally of coloured populations the enforcement in proper cases of committal for contempt of court for attack on the Court may be absolutely necessary to preserve in such community the dignity of and respect for the Court.”

And I continued:-

“It was in 1863 that Broadmoor as a criminal lunatic asylum, as an actual hospital,   was established in England. Therein psychiatric medication and psychotherapy are applied.  It is now the year 2017 and by way of Legal Notice 61 of 2013 the Turks and Caicos Islands has Her Majesty’s Prison as a place designated for the treatment and care of the mentally ill.”

In plain words, there are standards deemed judicially tolerable in a colony “consisting principally of coloured populations”, that are anathema in England. Thus, the established practice of imprisoning the mentally ill in the Turks and Caicos Islands by Executive Order since 2013, and, apparently, fully condoned as acceptable medical practice is perpetuating, even in 2017, long established attitudes towards those who reside in Her Majesty’s colonies, as pronounced by Lord Morris since 1899.

At some point in time, I believe that the political directorate will finally do that which needs to be done to protect the rights of mentally ill persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands who continue to be sent to prison for the ‘crime’ of being mentally ill.

Of course, the powerful will abuse power, unless a challenge is put to rein in egregious wrongs, neglect and excesses. So, to the younger generation, I invite you to become educated and not merely be trained lawyers. An educated lawyer thinks, questions, challenges and seeks justice. A trained lawyer mainly runs a business and chases fees. Yet, a choice can be made and a better Turks and Caicos Islands can be actualised by the younger lawyers advocating for what they want the country to be. So, “What is the law?” is therefore a question and a challenge for you the younger generation of lawyers to answer.

Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, subjected to death threats,  and has argued public interest and human rights cases.

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Movement for Global Mental Health – Dec Issue — Worldwide

Movement for Global Mental Health, December issue — see link below.
Please note the Peer Network is being set up and details are in the newsletter.

The 5th Global Mental Health Summit is fast approaching and will take place 8-9 February 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa — see newsletter for more details. I am also very pleased to report that the Mental Health Commission of Canada will also be represented at the Global Mental Health Summit in Johannesburg!

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Movement for Global Mental Health Nov Newsletter — Worldwide

From the Movement for Global Mental Health — November 2017 Newsletter
See link below. As always, many thanks to our member Charlene Sunkel for her amazing work in mental health!

November newsletter also contains articles from our members and photos from the 10th Anniversary celebration of the International Diploma Program in Mental Health, Law and Human Rights in Pune, India. Many of our members have taken this program.

5th Global Mental Health Summit will take place 8-9 February 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa — see newsletter for more details.

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Gender Based Violence and Mental Health video — KOSHISH — Nepal

Excellent video describing gender based violence and mental health in Nepal. From our member in Nepal — Matrika Devkota, chairperson for KOSHISH. Thank you for sending to us Matrika. Please share and help however you can.

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Global Mental Health – Prevention and Promotion (new publication) — Global

Thank you to Dr. Sabine Bahrer-Kohler for advance notice on the upcoming publication of her book “Global Mental Health – Prevention and Promotion” with a foreword by UN Special Rapporteur Prof. Puras. At MHWW, we strongly advocate for a human rights-based framework for all mental health work and programs worldwide with a definite movement away from sole reliance on the medical model framework. The experts are the persons experiencing the mental health challenges and they have the right to a range of treatment options and the right to make their own treatment choice. We support the framework outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  

In a few days my new book is published. Perhaps it will be interesting for your organization, your teams and for example forthcoming meetings& projects et al..
Prof. Puras, MD, UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health has written a foreword in my book.
Global Mental Health- Prevention and Promotion
Kind Regards,
Sabine Bährer-Kohler

Prof. Dr. Sabine Bährer-Kohler
Invited Professor for Mental Health/ Mental Health & Social Determinants at Tropical Neurology and Neuroinfection Master, International University of Catalonia (UIC), Barcelona/Spain
Managing Director Dr. Bährer-Kohler& Partners, Switzerland
President, Association for Mental Health- Global Mental Health, Switzerland
IFSW Representative at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland

Global Mental Health

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Movement for Global Mental Health Newsletter — worldwide

From the Movement for Global Mental Health — October 2017 Newsletter
See link below. Also links to receive the newsletter via email and the website link which has numerous resources and information. Please note the newsletter now also has space at the bottom for vacancies/internship opportunities. As always, many thanks to our member Charlene Sunkel for her amazing work in mental health!

REGISTER NOW for the 5th Global Mental Health Summit, 8-9 February 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa


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WHO QualityRights Initiative Training and Guidance Modules — Worldwide

From our colleagues at the WHO. Please find the latest materials and resources connected to the WHO QualityRights Initiative via the link below. Excellent resources that can be accessed and used free of charge! Thank you for this incredible work WHO and comprehensive package! 

As part of the QualityRights Initiative, WHO has developed a comprehensive package of training and guidance modules. The modules can be used to build capacity among mental health practitioners, people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, people using mental health services, families, care partners and other supporters, NGOs, DPOs and others on how to implement a human rights and recovery approach in the area of mental health in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other international human rights standards.

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BasicNeeds Merges with CBM —- United Kingdom

Thank you to Adrian Sell, CEO, BasicNeeds for sending us the announcement regarding the recent merger of BasicNeeds with CBM. Please see below for more information on this exciting merger. 

People living with mental illness in low-and middle-income countries are some of the world’s most marginalised people. Mental health conditions such as depression are the leading cause of disability worldwide, often causing immense suffering and preventing people from earning a living or participating in their community. BasicNeeds is therefore excited to announce our merger with leading disability organisation, CBM UK thus creating a new strong global voice on mental health in development.

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