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  • ISAPA 2025

CRPD-COSP at UN Headquarters in New York

Reframing recovery in enduring mental health difficulties, achievements, challenges and lived experiences.


The MTU UNESCO Chair continued our representation at CRPD-COSP at UN Headquarters in New York. This year we focused on psychosocial and intellectual disability. The session was introduced by Ambassador Donal Kenneally, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN, and moderated by Catherine Carty, UNESCO Chair Manager Munster Technological University.

The key message was that 'We must move far beyond frozen biomedical approaches to rights-based, holistic approaches respecting the lived experience of those living with enduring mental health conditions' (UN Special Rapporteur on Health, UN General Assembly, 2020).

However, progress has been slow, and understanding has been lacking, especially in the case of severe and enduring mental health difficulties. This session will demonstrate how a rights-based approach delivers better health outcomes while delivering on Sustainable Development Goals target 3.4 on non-communicable diseases and mental health.

We explored evidence, experiences, achievements, and challenges to:

  • Reframing mental health recovery to a holistic rights-based model using an integrated, collaborative approach addressing the need of those furthest behind first

  • Changing societal understanding, challenging stigma, supporting recovery and community inclusion

  • Empowering those experiencing psychosocial disabilities to understand and access their rights

Video Messages were aired from:

  • Ms Nathalie Drew, WHO Quality Rights

  • Dr Ibrahim Aqel, the Director of the Institute for Family Health Jordan

Panellists included:

  1. Prof Philip Dodd, Mental Health Policy and Clinical Specialist, Department of Health, Ireland

  2. Ms Rose Umutesi, Chairperson, Pan African Network of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities (PANPPD) & Executive Board Commonwealth disability forum representing persons with psychosocial disability

  3. Dervila Eyres, Head of Service for Mental Health, Community Healthcare Organisation 8, Health Service Executive, Ireland

  4. Dr Mary Keogh, Christian Blind Mission Ireland, Interim CEO

  5. Mr John Farrelly, Chief Executive of Ireland’s regulatory authority the Mental Health Commission



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