Health is a human right, and we work to improve provision and access

Health policy

Changing Faces advocates for improving access to psycho-social care, which reduces the risk of common mental health problems and will improve the health and wellbeing of people with conditions, marks or scars that affect their appearance.

Our health team works directly with health and social care professionals, as well as health commissioners, politicians, other policy makers, regulatory bodies and other organisations, to influence mental health policies for local communities across the UK.

We call on policy makers

  1. To provide better information to patients with disfigurements
  2. To increase the awareness of disfigurement amongst all health and social care professionals
  3. To provide better access to psycho-social care
  4. To improve the quality of psycho-social care for people with disfigurements

Our health team carries out policy activities concentrating on laws and regulations, public courses of action and public funding priorities relating to education, advocacy and the mobilisation of interests groups in healthcare.

We campaign to help people with disfigurements and to eliminate the physical and social barriers that prevent equality.

Health is a fundamental human right, which is as important as the right to housing, work, education, human dignity, non-discrimination and access to information. These and other rights/freedoms address integral components of the right to health. Every human being is entitled to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, conducive to living a life in dignity.

Evidence shows that for many people with disfigurements, the full enjoyment of the right to health, including mental health, still remains unrealised. This is, amongst other reasons, because of a limited understanding of the difficulties of living with disfigurements amongst health and social care professionals and a lack of access to psychological therapy services.

The right to health, including mental health, is a positive human right, included in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN, 1976) and the European Social Charter (EU, 1961). ‘…respect for economic, social and cultural rights, including the rights to health, can only be realised progressively, within the limitations imposed by the availability of public resources.’ (FCO 2006 Human Rights Annual Report, p 233).

At Changing Faces, we are very much aware of the limited availability of resources to increase the understanding of disfigurement and to improve access to psychological therapies. However, we consider mental health as equally important to physical health, which should be reflected in the availability of resources for mental health services.

Read more on Improving Existing Mental Health Services

Read more on Realising these Objectives – Our Consultancy Services

Read more on our Look at Me campaign, which aims to ensure that people with a range of skin conditions can receive high quality information and appropriate psycho-social care, in addition to medical treatment.

For more information on our health policy work, please contact Ivon van Heugten, Policy Advisor in Health, or call 0345 450 0275.