We are pleased to announce that Professor Nikolas Rose, King’s College London, will deliver this year’s Annual Lecture: Social justice and mental health: what role for law?
It is now widely accepted that both common and severe experiences of mental distress are shaped by social determinants across the life course, and that they are more common in sectors of the population that are poor, disadvantaged, in insecure housing and employment, stigmatised and/or experience racism and social exclusion. Thus mental ill health and social injustice are intimately intertwined, and major changes in this situation will depend upon the development of policies for mental health in areas ranging from urban planning, employment practices, welfare regulations, schooling, and related basic socio-political changes. In this lecture I will ask whether, and to what extent, rights based approaches can play an important part in achieving social justice in mental health in such a context. I will also consider the more specific questions of compulsory detention and involuntary treatment in the mental health system, and whether developments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the recommendations in the recent UK Independent Review of the Mental Health Act are adequate to combat a situation in which the majority of those subject to such provisions, at least in the UK, are from minority ethnic groups.
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