Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to update the Global Model of Public Mental Health (GMPMH) in light of the WHO QualityRights project. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Being able to refer to international conventions and human rights standards is a key component of a genuine global approach that is supportive of individuals and communities in their quest for recovery and full citizenship. The GMPMH was inspired by the ecological approach in health promotion programs, adding to that approach the individuals as agents of mental health policies and legislation transformation. The GMPMH integrates recovery- and citizenship-oriented psychiatric practices through the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986). Findings ‐ Updating the GMPMH through the WHO QualityRights Toolkit highlights the need for a new form of governance body, namely the Civic Forum, which is inclusive of local communities and persons in recovery. People with mental health disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and substance use conditions can be “included in the community” (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 19) only if the community is informed and welcoming, for instance through a Civic Forum and its organizing Local Council of Mental Health. Research limitations/implications ‐ Transition from social marginalization to full citizenship represents a daunting challenge in public mental health care. An approach that focuses primarily on individuals is not sufficient in creating access to valued roles those individuals will be able to occupy in community settings. Instead, public intervention and debate are required to promote and monitor the bond of citizenship that connects people to their communities. Originality/value ‐ The GMPMH is the result of a conceptual cross-breeding between recovery and health promotion (WHO, 1986). The GMPMH is an offspring of the ecological approach in health promotion programs, adding to that approach individuals as agents of mental health transformation. It refers to international conventions and human rights standards as a central component of a genuine global approach. A community-based participatory research design is well suited, which includes a Civic Forum for local communities to become involved and supportive of service users in their quality and human rights assessments.