Global roll-out of WHO online training on rights-based mental health services begins

Today signaled the start of the global roll-out of WHO’s online training course on understanding and promoting the human rights and recovery of people living with mental health conditions.

During the launch event, hundreds of participants from around the world heard WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Michelle Bachelet, the Ministers of Health of France and Portugal, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health, Cynthia Germanotta and people with lived experience of mental health conditions explain the significant benefits of the training. Widespread uptake will not only help address the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health conditions but will also contribute to the improvement of mental health services such that they are respectful of human rights and focused on recovery.

Training already available in nearly a dozen languages

The interactive course, already available in 11 languages[1], has been developed for a wide variety of groups, including people involved in making decisions about mental health care provision, those who provide mental health care and psychosocial support, and people who have received or are receiving support for their mental health. The modules can be followed at users’ own pace, and generally take about 16 hours to complete in full.

At launch, nearly 30 000 people have already completed the training due to collaborative efforts between WHO and the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs in Czechia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ghana, Kenya, Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Feedback from early adopter countries has been very positive, with evaluations indicating significant shifts in mindsets on issues such as providing people with choice and information about treatment options; implementation of alternatives to seclusion and restraint; and promotion of recovery, hope and community inclusion.

More countries ready to introduce the training

A number of other countries, including Armenia, Croatia, Estonia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Paraguay and Poland, are planning to introduce the training in the near future. In addition, some thirty organizations working in the area of mental health, including professional associations and academic institutions, have committed to support the global roll-out.

“Today’s launch of the global roll-out of WHO’s QualityRights e-training is just the start,” said Dr Michelle Funk, leading work on mental health policy, law and rights at the World Health Organization. “With the support of our partners from around the world, we are aiming for 5 million people having completed the training by the end of 2024.”

The online training is an activity of the broader QualityRights initiative, to support transformation of mental health systems such that they are based on recovery, rights, and inclusion.

[1] The online training is already available in Armenian, Bosnian, Czech, English, Estonian, Filipino, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Turkish. Arabic, Bengali, Croatian, Indonesian, Nepali and Ukrainian versions are expected to be available before the end of 2022.

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