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Globally, mental health is and has been a neglected topic of engagement to the extent that stigma, discrimination and ignorance attached to mental health disorders result in various forms of abuse inflicted on those with a diagnosis.
The “victims” are often disempowered and then left without a “voice” to express their needs or to participate fully in their own lives in order to achieve a better quality of life.
Despite the fact that stigma, discrimination and ignorance still exist, much has improved, where mental health care users have obtained a “voice” through advocacy movements and have become more empowered.
This has occurred through various partnerships that have influenced policies and legislation to focus on protecting and respecting the rights of all persons with all types of disabilities, including psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.
This publication looks at the work of the Gauteng Consumer Advocacy Movement (GCAM) as a best practice model in facilitating self-advocacy and has garnered input from mental health care users through various surveys to best represent them as one “voice”, and further looks at empowerment through partnerships.
Born on 8 June 1972 in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, RSA.
Work as Awareness, Advocacy and Communications Officer at Central Gauteng Mental Health Society.
Written/produced theatre plays and short feature film on mental health disorders.
Awards winner for work in mental health.
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