Rights for Life Declaration now launched!

rights for life identityThe Rights for Life Declaration is now live!

This landmark document sets out the human rights being called for by people affected by mental health issues in Scotland. Its aim is to help achieve transformational change to the way people affected by mental health issues enjoy their rights.

The Declaration is accompanied by the Rights for Life Change Agenda. This is  intended to generate solutions-focused action to deliver the realisation of the rights of people with mental health issues in Scotland today.

Watch some highlights below from the official Declaration launch event, which was held in Edinburgh on the 22nd February 2016. Or take a look at the launch event photo album.

We are greatly encouraged to see that, since its launch, the Declaration has been publicly endorsed by the Scottish Green Party.

Why do we need a Declaration of Rights for Mental Health in Scotland?

While people affected by mental health issues have the same rights as other members of Scottish society they face significant barriers in realising them, which can have a devastating impact on their lives.

These barriers are well known and widely documented.  People with experience of mental health issues:

  • Face unacceptably high levels of stigma and discrimination.
  • Can die 20 years younger, are poorer on average and have fewer opportunities in life than the general population.
  • Can have their rights legally limited as a consequence of poor mental health and laws designed to protect their rights are ignored with impunity.
  • Are excluded from decision-making processes that affect their lives.
  • Are denied access to timely, acceptable, quality care and support.

Often Scottish institutions often don’t know they are breaching people’s rights when they fail to treat people with dignity and respect. But people also don’t know they have these rights, or don’t know how to access them.


The Rights for Life Declaration and Change Agenda are intended to achieve real, sustainable and transformational change to the way that people affected by mental health problems enjoy human rights.

Find out more about the Declaration and Change Agenda, and the landmark 2015 event that started it all.

Join in the conversation on Twitter using #rightsforlife



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