The Rights for Life Declaration and Change Agenda are based on the views of hundreds of people with experience of mental health issues and those family and friends who care for them. It started to take shape at the landmark Rights for Life conference in June 2015. Following the event, the Rights for Life Steering Group* organised widespread consultation on early drafts regionally, nationally and online.

Consultation meetings

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A national consultation event was held in Glasgow on 26 October 2015 with around 60 people who had expressed an interest in being involved. Further regional consultations were held in November and December 2015 organised in partnership with local organisations and networks of people in Scotland affected by mental health problems. These consultations were held in Arbroath, Edinburgh, Inverness and Perth.

Online consultation

An online survey also took place during November – December 2015 for people to have their say on the draft Rights for Life Declaration and Agenda for Change.

At the time, an article featured in the Herald on International Human Rights Day 2015 highlighted what a critical time for mental health this was in Scotland. By affirming human rights and detailing practical measures to achieve them, the Declaration and Agenda are intended to achieve real and lasting change to the lives of people affected by mental health conditions.

*At the time of consulting on and developing the Rights for Life Declaration and February 2016 Change Agenda, the Rights for Life Steering Group was comprised of representatives from the Mental Health Network (Greater Glasgow), Scottish Human Rights Commission, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance, Scottish Recovery Network, See Me and Voices Of eXperience.