‘Rights of mentally ill being violated’

November 3, 2010

PUNE : Michele Funk, coordinator of mental health policies, service development, human rights and law at WHO on Tuesday said there was huge violation of human rights of people with mental illness.

Funk, who is in the city, told The Indian Express that she hoped India would participate in a new WHO project aimed at assessing living conditions and quality of care at mental health institutions.

Funk is in the city to teach international diploma students of mental health, law and human rights — an online course being conducted for the last two years by WHO Geneva and Indian Law Society (ILS). The valedictory function of the second diploma course will be held at ILS law college on November 3, said Jaya Sagade, vice-principal of the college.

The year-long online diploma will be preceded by a 15-day residential course which commences on Wednesday for the third batch. “We have students from Spain, Zambia, Jordan and three from India. They could be psychiatric nurses or health workers,” said Sagade. Among the faculty includes Funk who will focus on the huge violation of human rights of the mentally ill in various countries. “There is no access to treatment and care and when these people do get access to services, their rights are violated,” said Funk.

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