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Human rights of people with mental illness diagnosis: perceptions among service users, family members and health professionals in Tunisia

Mayssa Rekhis (Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia)
Sami Ouanes (Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia)
Abir Ben Hamouda (Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia)
Rym Rafrafi (Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 8 April 2021

Issue publication date: 14 September 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the awareness about the rights of people with mental illness in the main psychiatric hospital in Tunisia among the service users, the family members and the staff.

Design/methodology/approach

The Convention of Rights of People with Disabilities mandates that State Parties initiate and maintain campaigns and human rights training to promote understanding of the rights of people with mental illnesses, considered as a main factor for their fulfillment. Service users, family members and staff evaluated, through a survey, the importance of ten rights for persons with mental illness, stated in the convention.

Findings

Disparities were found in the perception of the different rights by and between the three groups. The highest levels of awareness were associated with the freedom from torture or degrading treatment and the right to live with dignity and respect, whereas the lower importance were assigned to the right to participation in recovery plans, to give consent and to exercise legal capacity.

Originality/value

The lack of awareness and the poor perception of rights of people with mental illness is one of the barriers to their achievement. More training and awareness raising is necessary.

Keywords

Citation

Rekhis, M., Ouanes, S., Ben Hamouda, A. and Rafrafi, R. (2021), "Human rights of people with mental illness diagnosis: perceptions among service users, family members and health professionals in Tunisia", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 182-190. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-06-2020-0075

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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