Psychiatry and the socio-political order

Where mental health meets human rights

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  • Published 20210428
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-59-7
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

AT A COMMUNITY consultation forum on mental health in regional Queensland in 2013, the discussion turned to the human rights of people with mental disabilities. The facilitator, medical journalist Dr Norman Swan, looked at me and said: ‘Doctor! You are a psychiatrist, and some people say that psychiatry and the human rights movement are, sort of, antagonistic to each other! What’s your take on human rights?’

My first impulse was to be defensive and make a passionate counter­argument. But I recalled my media training: do not be provoked. Give a neutral or positive – yet honest – response. I said: ‘Psychiatry and human rights can be highly complementary to each other. That is why I’m here, to work with the community to identify ways in which psychiatry and the human rights movement can complement each other.’

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About the author

Neeraj S Gill

Neeraj S Gill is a psychiatrist and professor at the School of Medicine, Griffith University. He is an elected director on the board of...

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