Psychiatry and the socio-political order

Where mental health meets human rights

Featured in

  • Published 20210504
  • 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.’

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

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...

More from this edition

Embracing ugly feelings

MemoirTHE FIRST TIME I was hospitalised, my mother visited me in the dank psychiatric ward bearing a three-tiered lacquer bento box packed with handmade...

The Closure Company

FictionTHEIR SIGNS USED a distinctive shade of blue. It was a colour they’d patented, like Tiffany Blue, though the shade was warmer; it almost...

The chemical question

Reportage‘IT’S MY HORMONES, doc. It’s my hormones, and no one’s listened to that.’ It was the late 1980s, in what was once Royal Park Psychiatric...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.