Can the World Health Organisation's 'QualityRights' initiative help reduce coercive practices in psychiatry in Ireland?

Ir J Psychol Med. 2020 Aug 17;1-4. doi: 10.1017/ipm.2020.81. Online ahead of print.


The treatment of mental illness is undergoing a paradigm shift, moving away from involuntary treatments towards rights-based, patient-centred care. However, rates of seclusion and restraint in Ireland are on the rise. The World Health Organisation's QualityRights initiative aims to remove coercion from the practice of mental health care, in order to concord with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The QualityRights initiative has recently published a training programme, with eight modules designed to be delivered as workshops. Conducting these workshops may reduce coercive practices, and four of the modules may be of particular relevance for Ireland. The 'Supported decision-making and advance planning' and the 'Legal capacity and the right to decide' modules highlight the need to implement the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act, 2015, while the 'Freedom from coercion, violence and abuse' and 'Strategies to end seclusion and restraint' modules describe practical alternatives to some current involuntary treatments.

Keywords: Coercion; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; QualityRights; human rights; physical restraint.