CBM International awarded MindFreedom a grant to create a handbook that encourages the emerging voice of people diagnosed with psychiatric and other mental disabilities in poor and developing countries. The handbook will share stories of psychiatric survivors and our social change movement, as well as examples of empowerment, recovery, and activism. It will also include practical tips and resources for developing your voice, organizing, and exercising your human rights.

Updated deadline: 31 August 2011

Project Summary


CBM International awardedMindFreedom a grant to create a handbook that encourages the emerging voice ofpeople diagnosed with psychiatric and other mental disabilities in poor anddeveloping countries. The handbook  seeks to inspire psychiatric consumers and survivors to become involvedin organizing, taking ownership of their organizations and using the frameworkof the disability movement.

The World Health Organizationhas declared a global emergency of human rights violations and disempowermentamong those diagnosed with mental disabilities. Unfortunately, the most basicmaterials for community organizing and leadership development from thisconstituency’s perspective are virtually non-existent. The handbook will beavailable to all, but MFI will specifically targetArgentina, Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Serbia,South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Vietnam, where there is alack of resources and funding to provide basic training and information. MFIwill print 3,000 copies of the handbook in English,Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, and accessible formats.

Handbook Overview


·        Weare people!

Puts a human face on our constituency, using examples of leaders taking action,holding support groups, street marches, and artistic and cultural activities.We hope to draw in the reader by showing the diverse range of backgrounds,beliefs, challenges and successes of people with mental disability labels fromdeveloping countries. The reader quickly understands that mental healthconsumers and psychiatric survivors in poor nations can and do speak forthemselves, as well as influence in policy.


·        Thestory of our social change movement

This will provide an overview of the social change movement led by psychiatricsurvivors, mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors. We will includehistory, values and principles, and key accomplishments. We will highlight howwe have a voce internationally, using specific examples. While we will includepressing human rights issues, the focus will be on hope. We will show how moreand more allies within the international cross-disability movement aresupportive of our constituency.


·        Howto develop your own voice

Includes practical tips, examples of successes, and resources in three areas:(a) developing your voice with family, friends and your immediatecommunity; (b) developing your voice with care providers, social workers, advocates;and (c) developing your voice with policy makers and decision-makers. Thehandbook will address the United Nations human rights guarantees, as well howto address the national human rights framework in a group’s home country.

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