Reforming mental health legislation

  • Amount funded: £51,406
  • Year: 2014
  • Duration: 22 months
  • Locations: Botswana, Seychelles

The prevalence of mental health is increasing worldwide. In many Commonwealth countries legislation is outdated and needs to be brought in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability.

Project partners
Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation
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How are we helping

Supporting CNMF's project to undertake a multi-stakeholder process to update mental health legislation in Botswana and the Seychelles.

About the project

The Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation (CNMF) is updating mental health legislation in Botswana and Seychelles to bring them in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability. Botswana and Seychelles will be the first Commonwealth countries to see their mental health laws brought in line with the UN Convention, and will see the CNMF work to establish the support structures that will build thorough and inclusive mental health provisions.

The two implementation countries were selected due to the existing strong base of networks in place, upon which the CNF will be able to build and develop their work. The project will either support an existing national mental health advocacy group – or establish a new one, if necessary – bringing together people with mental ill health, carers, medical health professionals and policy officials, to pool their experience and collectively develop solutions.

These groups will provide valuable forums to make sure that legislation is formed from the right information and the right people. The Commonwealth Nurses Federation will oversee the project, providing technical support to the groups and working to ensure the sustainability of the positive outcomes produced by the project.

With mental ill health predicted to be the world’s greatest health burden by 2030, this project is supporting the efforts to drive down the stigma, discrimination and marginalisation suffered by people with mental ill health and make treatment and care accessible to all.

Project Partners
Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation

The Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation (CNMF), founded in 1973, is a federation of national nursing and midwifery associations in Commonwealth countries.

The CNMF has regular and constructive contact with major Commonwealth bodies in London including the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation. The CNMF is an accredited Commonwealth body, which allows involvement in annual Health Ministers' meetings, the biennial Commonwealth Peoples Forum held prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and other Commonwealth meetings such as the civil society consultations.

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The Foundation is the Commonwealth's agency for civil society. We support people’s participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms for civic voices and opportunities for sharing expertise.