Global roll-out of WHO’s online training on rights-based mental health services begins

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Today marked the start of the global roll-out of WHO’s online training course on understanding and promoting human rights and recovery for people living with mental health conditions.

At the launch event, hundreds of participants from around the world heard from WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Michelle Bachelet, Health Ministers of France and Portugal, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health Cynthia Germanotta and people with lived experience of mental health issues explain the significant benefits of the training. Widespread adoption will not only help address the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental disorders, but will also contribute to improving mental health services in a way that is respectful of human rights. and recovery oriented.

Training already available in nearly a dozen languages

The interactive course, already available in 11 languages[1], has been developed for a wide variety of groups, including people involved in making decisions about providing mental health care, those providing mental health care and psychosocial support, and people who have received or receive support for their mental health. The modules can be taken at the user’s pace and generally take around 16 hours to complete.

At the launch, nearly 30,000 people have already completed the training thanks to collaborative efforts between WHO and the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kenya, from the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Feedback from early adopter countries has been very positive, with assessments indicating significant shifts in mindsets on issues such as giving people choice and information about treatment options; the establishment of alternatives to isolation and restraint; and promoting recovery, hope and community inclusion.

More countries ready to introduce training

A number of other countries, including Armenia, Croatia, Estonia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Paraguay and Poland, plan to introduce the training in the near future. Additionally, some 30 organizations working in the field of mental health, including professional associations and academic institutions, have pledged to support the global rollout.

“Today’s launch of the global roll-out of the WHO QualityRights e-learning course is just the start,” said Dr Michelle Funk, who leads the work on policy, law and rights in mental health at the World Health Organization. “With the support of our partners around the world, we are aiming for 5 million people to have completed the training by the end of 2024.”

The online training is an activity of the wider QualityRights initiative, to support the transformation of mental health systems so that they are based on recovery, rights and inclusion.


[1] Online training is already available in Armenian, Bosnian, Czech, English, Estonian, Filipino, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Turkish. Arabic, Bengali, Croatian, Indonesian, Nepali and Ukrainian versions are expected to be available before the end of 2022.

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