Findings of the 2017 Monitoring of Publications on the Field of Mental HealthMarch 23, 2018 Information Paper
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office presents the findings of its 2017 monitoring of publications on 16 Armenian web pages issued about the field of mental health.
Among these web pages are those of 12 mass media outlets and the official web pages of 4 state bodies, namely the RA Police, the RA General Prosecutor’s Office, the RA Ministry of Healthcare and the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
The following picture emerged from the 2017 monitoring of 500 publications:
- In comparison with the previous years, the number of publications on the field of mental health disseminated through the official web page of the RA Police decreased, whereas the number of such publications disseminated through the web page of the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs increased;
- In 2017 the number of publications based on the information provided by the Office of the Human Rights Defender on the field of mental health increased considerably in comparison with the previous two years;
- 45 of the publications collected in 2017 touch upon the existing issues in the field of mental health in the Republic of Armenia;
- In 2017 the number of publications on criminal proceedings continued to constitute a large number; 108 of such publications refer to the crimes committed by persons with mental health problems;
- 137 of the 500 publications contribute to the development of a negative attitude towards persons with mental health problems;
- 4 of the 500 publications on the field of mental health referred to violations of the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; 2 were related to violations of the right to protection of health, and 2 – to those of the right to freedom of expression;
- 58 of the 500 collected publications contained personally identifiable information; thus, the right to protection of personal information was violated in these publications.
In order to solve the problems identified through the study, we once again recommend that:
The RA state bodies should
- refrain from issuing publications that contain personally identifiable information if there is no legitimate purpose;
- refrain from publications creating negative stereotypes about persons with mental health problems;
- increase awareness of the measures implemented by the State aimed at solving the legal, healthcare and social problems of persons with mental health problems.
We urge mass media outlets to:
- refrain from publishing personal data through which it is possible to identify persons with mental health problems if there is no legitimate purpose;
- refrain from publications reinforcing the existing negative stereotypes about persons with mental health problems as well as from the use of texts, terms and phrases that label such persons and create stereotypes about them.
The Information Paper is presented here
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