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CBM welcomes the MiNDbank platform

Logo QR - WHO MiNDbank

On 10 December 2013 - Human Rights Day - the WHO launches MiNDbank, a new online platform for bringing together policies, strategies, laws and service standards for mental health, substance abuse, general health, disability, human rights and development.

Highlighting WHO QualityRights Project

On 10 December 2013 - Human Rights Day - the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Brazil will co-host an event to highlight the WHO QualityRights Project. The QualityRights Project is the WHO flagship campaign to improve care and end the extensive human rights violations against people with mental health conditions, particularly in health and social care facilities where people should be able to access good care in a safe environment.

Launch of MiNDbank

At this event the WHO MiNDbank will be launched, a new online platform for bringing together key policies, strategies, laws and service standards for mental health, substance abuse, general health, disability, human rights and development.

CBM has participated in development of the platform, and welcomes this initiative, which aims to facilitate debate, dialogue, advocacy and research by bringing a wide range of materials in one easily-accessible place. This will help local and international advocates to promote national reform in these areas, in line with international human rights and best practice standards.

How CBM will use the QualityRights Toolkit and MiNDbank platform in Sierra Leone

CBM works with its partners in many countries where mental health services are poor or confined to a single out-dated hospital. These new resources will help our partners as they work to improve the situation. One example is Sierra Leone, where CBM works through our Enabling Access, and mhLAP programme with local advocates.

The Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone has grown in the last three years to become a strong voice for reform of mental health services, and for improvement of human rights for people with psychosocial disabilities.  Like in many countries, mental health is not prioritized by the Government of Sierra Leone.  Due to limited access to resources, the country’s only psychiatric hospital is unable to offer a quality of care that protects the human rights of service users.

Poor sanitary conditions, inconsistent access to medications and chaining of patients just begins to describe the current situation at the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital.  The Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone is eager to use the QualityRights Toolkit because it provides a practical structure for evaluating the human rights situation in the country’s mental health facilities against international standards. Most importantly though, it facilitates a participatory approach, where all relevant actors are involved in the assessment, and therefore are all invested together in facilitating implementation of recommendations that come out of the assessment.

The MH Coalition will be leading the review of human rights and metal health in the country, using the QualityRights Toolkit,and plan to use the results to create key advocacy messages and lobby the government for change.

The Lunacy Act, Sierra Leone’s mental health legislation, was written in 1902. The contents of the law do not protect human rights of service users or their family members.  The Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone is advocating to reform the law to be in-line with the Ministry of Health’s National Mental Health Policy & Strategic Plan.

At such a time for change, the MiNDbank online platform of information will serve as an important resource for mental health stakeholders of Sierra Leone.   The platform makes mental health laws and policies easily accessible, creating opportunities for countries, such as Sierra Leone, to learn from examples of improved legislation around the world and to use such examples as advocacy tools.   The Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone will be frequenting the MiNDbank often in the years to come.

During the creation of MiNDbank, members of the Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone shared relevant documents from West Africa with the WHO to help build the platform.  The WHO actively sought and received feedback on the site content and formatting from CBM, including partners and co-workers in West Africa, as well as the service user community.  The WHO’s commitment to such participatory development of such tools makes the platform richer, and more fit-for-purpose.

More reading

Community Mental Health

People with psychosocial disabilities are often ‘invisible’, have limited access to services and are excluded from full participation in community life.



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