The Egyptian Society for the rights of people with mental illness
In Egypt, the concept of isolating mental patients in asylums arrived in the 1880s following the British occupation of 1882. The practice of caring for mental patients in the community was perceived as a sign of backwardness. The Abasseya hospital was built as an exemplary asylum in the late 19th century. The need for regulations and legislations to protect patients became clear.
The first Egyptian mental health legislation was introduced in 1944. In 2009 Dr. Nasser Loza founded The Egyptian Society for the Rights of People with Mental Illness. His main focus was to advocate for the rights of people with mental illness, as well as, to fight stigma to patients and their families. In collaboration between the Egyptian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists along with other human rights entities to work on a new draft legislation that would protect the rights of people with mental illness and set guidelines for clinical practitioners. The work Egyptian Parliament ratified The Mental Health Act 2009 (Law 71/2009).
Although, the new law helped to evolve the concept of care in Egyptian hospitals and the treatment institutions became less stigmatized, there was a huge need for Egyptian societies to bear the responsibility for promoting the concept and fostering the rights of people with mental illness. “The Egyptian Society for the Rights of People with Mental Illness” was established in 2009, to change this general attitude towards mental patients. The aim is to help integrate mental patients in the community and combat the stigma associated with mental illness
The Egyptian Society for the Rights of People with Mental Illness aims to advocate for the rights of those affected by mental illness in Egypt. Our vision is for fair treatment with dignity with respect and better quality of life for all those affected by mental illness, their carers, families and friends.
Dr. Nasser Loza, President of the World Federation for Mental Health (WMFH) (Nov. 2021 - 2023), completed his psychiatric training at the Institute of Psychiatry & the Maudsley Hospital in London. He became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1987 and a Fellow of the College in 1995. He served as the Secretary General for Mental Health, Egypt (2006 - 2011), Chairman of the Scientific Council of The Arab Board of Medical Specializations (2012 – 2017), and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2014). He is a member of the editorial board of The Arab Journal of Psychiatry and The British Journal of Psychiatry (International), and served as the Chairman of the Middle East Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2013-2017). Dr. Loza is Director of The Behman Hospital, the Maadi Psychology Centre, and practices at several Behman Consultations Clinics in Cairo, as well as the International Clinic in London.