Mental Health and Disability: International Law and Policy MED5450

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore how mental health and disability legislation varies between high-income versus low and middle-income countries. The course will also critically discuss how international law influences mental health and disability policies across different settings.


This course is made up of lectures and seminars in semester 3.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





■ 20% Oral presentation (5 minutes/5 slides) critically comparing mental health legislation, policy and plans in two countries and to a recognised human rights standard. (ILO 1)


■ 30% Policy Brief (1000 words) based on a case vignette (ILO 4)


■ 50% Proposal for the development of an anti-stigma campaign (1200 words)  (ILOs 2,3,5)

Course Aims

This course aims, through distance learning, to introduce students to Global Mental Health Policies, Plans and Legislation. The course also aims to examine the legal rights afforded to the mental health of individuals across the world. Finally, this course aims to explore ways of minimising stigma and discrimination.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Critically compare mental health legislation, policies and plans across high, middle and low-income countries, applying a human rights perspective.


2. Critically discuss the concepts of stigma, discrimination and social exclusion and justify how they act as barriers to equitable healthcare across cultures.


3. Critically evaluate anti-stigma interventions within a global context.


4. Critically appraise ethical and professional challenges associated with the provision of mental healthcare globally.


5. Critically appraise the importance of involving a range of stakeholders (particularly those with lived experience of mental health problems) in delivery of mental health services and develop potential strategies to do so.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.