Eric Ip and Daisy Cheung
Global Mental Health, First View , pp. 1 - 5
Abstract: Human health, including mental health, hinges on the integrity of the planetary biophysical environment and local ecosystems. Legal principles relevant to planetary mental health are currently scattered across the discrete bodies of human rights, health, and climate law, each of which go some way in creating twofold state obligations to take climate action for the purpose of attaining health and thereby mental health, and address mental morbidities resulting from the climate crisis. We argue that a ‘planetary mental health law’ already exists, albeit in preliminary form, and in great need of being developed into a clearer and more coherent regime. Prior to proposing fundamental changes to the international system, it appears to us that soft law should be resorted to as a complement to existing international obligations, whereas states should bolster their level of national commitment to defend the right to mental health on a healthier planet. Time is not on our side and the law must act now.