Liz Brosnan discusses the relationship between human rights and mental health service user participation. This paper seeks to understand and explain how the human rights frameworks can offer a different way for mental health activists to engage with the system and influence improvements in how care is delivered.
Liz has been active as a mental health service user advocate, consultant and researcher for the past 10 years. She began this work in 2000 with ‘Pathways’, a service user-led research project in Galway. Since then she has been involved in other research on partnerships with service users, in education and training around Recovery, and consulting on the service user perspective for various bodies, including the National Disability Authority, the Mental Health Commission and Amnesty International. Employed with the Western Alliance for Mental Health since 2003, she is currently on study leave to do an ISSP Government of Ireland funded PhD in Sociology at the University of Limerick, in the area of User Involvement in Mental Health Services.