n African Journal of Psychiatry - Available resources and human rights : a South African perspective : guest editorial

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



It was with anticipation - and then with some surprise - that the long-awaited South African Mental Health Care Act, No 17 of 2002 (MHCA) was finally promulgated in December 2004. From one day to the next, we moved into a new dispensation for mental health care delivery in South Africa: the era of the "new" Mental Health Care Act, setting a historic "before" and "after" point of reference. The new legislation was generally welcomed, in particular for two principles that it advocates: the management of users in the least restrictive environment; and the comprehensive protection of the human rights of mental health care users.

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