What is the Rights for Life Change Agenda?
The Rights for Life Change Agenda accompanies Rights for Life – A Declaration of Rights for Mental Health in Scotland. It is intended to generate action to deliver the progressive realisation of the rights of people with mental health issues in Scotland today.
How was it developed?
The Rights for Life Change Agenda has been drawn from key priorities outlined by people at the landmark Rights for Life conference in June 2015 and further online and face-to-face consultation up to December 2015. Around 500 people affected by mental health issues from around Scotland contributed directly to this development process.
Who is it for?
The Change Agenda is for people affected by mental health issues, who can use it to help claim their rights. The people and organisations responsible for respecting, protecting and fulfilling rights in Scotland can use it to inform their policy, practice and responses to people asserting their rights.
Why do we need it?
While people affected by mental health issues have the same rights as other members of Scottish society, they face significant barriers in realising them. 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 mental health issues 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.
What difference will it make?
The Change Agenda is intended to provide solutions-focused ways for people with experience of mental health issues to realize their rights. It is just a start. There were many more inputs into the Rights for Life deliberations that require further analysis and development into concrete actions for change. The partners involved in getting Rights for Life underway are committed to continuing our support to help make rights more real in the lives of people affected by mental health issues in Scotland.