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World Human Rights Day Message

Dear Colleagues,

On 15 June 2020, as part of his message supporting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) President, Dr. William Reichman stated, “Every older adult in each community around the world, has the right to be treated with respect and dignity.” He highlighted the reality of ageist views and practices brought to light amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for IPA members and colleagues to support the rights of older adults “to be treated with respect and dignity.”

Additionally, a recent article published in International Psychogeriatrics, Advocacy for the human rights of older people in the COVID pandemic and beyond: a call to mental health professionals (Peisah, et al), addresses current shortcomings in older adult care and offers practical steps for healthcare providers.

These sentiments are particularly germane as we call on IPA members and colleagues to lend our voices to World Human Rights Day this 10 December. With a theme of Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights, the World Health Organization (WHO) is focused on the need for a global recovery effort centered on human rights. Older adults, especially those with mental health issues, should not be left behind, discriminated against, or treated unequally.

As part of this important initiative, IPA has partnered with the World Psychiatric Association Section of Old Age Psychiatry (WPA-SOAP) to put together a brand new webinar on Human Rights and Mental Health of Older Adults. This free program highlighted the human rights of older adults and its real world implementation challenges, especially during this pandemic.

If you were unable to join the live webinar, a recording is now available.

Please share this message and join me 10 December in advocating for the human rights of older adults around the world.

Manabu Ikeda, MD, PhD
IPA President Elect
Chair, IPA Advocacy Task Force


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