The human rights of people with severe and persistent mental illness: can conflicts between dominant and non-dominant paradigms be reconciled ?
Historically the mental health human rights movement derived human rights for people with mental illnesses from other rights movements. The disability rights movement co-opted techniques from women's rights and black rights movements, and in turn the mental health consumer movement took many cues from the broader disability movement. People with mental illness were relative latecomers to civil and disability rights activism. They were left out of these movements because they were still institutionalized when this movement was gathering steam, and partly because of the stigmatized views from within the movement, that individuals with psychotic disorders were too violent, volatile, or irrational, and unable to meaningfully participate in empowerment (Cook and Jonikas 2002). There is now a clearly defined advocacy sector that is overt in trying to define disability rights. Various nations have enacted disability legislation, culminating in international disability rights conventions 'in an attempt to articulate what social justice means for people with disabilities in receipt of government funded services: (Robin Banks-PIAC personal communication).
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