Internet access as a right for realizing the human right to adequate mental (and other) health care

Merten Reglitz, Abraham Rudnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
304 Downloads (Pure)


Human rights protect the conditions of a minimally decent life of which mental health is an indispensable element. Adequate care for mental health is thus recognized as part of the human right to health. However, for populations living far from urban centers, adequate in-person (mental) health care is often extremely costly and thus not provided. Digital mental health care options have become an effective alternative to in-person treatment. Benefitting from these new digital opportunities, though, requires sufficient access to the internet. Because everyone has a human right to adequate health care, and digital mental health care is now an effective option for progressively realizing this human right for people who live in remote regions, these people also have to be understood to have a right to access to the internet. This right to internet access creates duties for public authorities and the international community to create the required digital infrastructure and (where needed) to cover the costs of internet access where this is the only feasible way of delivering, or progressively realizing, the mental health care that is indispensable for having the opportunity to lead minimally decent lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2020


  • Care
  • health
  • internet access
  • mental
  • right

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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