Five mental health support organisations act on advocacy plans in Nepal

Immediate release: 2nd June 2019: Thanks to support from Speak Your Mind partners Comic Relief and Nepal’s self-help organisation KOSHISH, 33 people from a number of mental health support organisations across the country including KOSHISH, TPO, CMC, UMN, and WGDR took part in an exciting two day workshop in Godavari, building national advocacy plans for the Speak Your Mind campaign in Nepal.

Members of six self-help groups joined together (3 people from Bhaktapur, 1 from Lalitpur and 2 from Tanahun), sharing their energy and ideas for campaigning work in the coming months and personal experiences with mental health in a supportive environment. The workshop which was powered by United for Global Mental Health welcomed an interpreter who helped to facilitate exchanges of ideas without language barriers.

Together, they established the key issues that will be prioritised in Nepal’s Speak Your Mind campaign. Campaigners discussed the current perceptions and treatment of mental health in Nepal and concluded that suicide, discriminatory legal provisions, lack of enough mental health professionals, lack of awareness, stigma, and discrimination are the root causes of increasing mental health problems in Nepal.

According to the self-help group leaders: familial disputes are the main factors which affect people’s mental health and yet to date, communities and the state are ignorant of the growing challenges the country faces in meeting people’s mental health support needs.

Plans were made for a conference and play to be created addressing the action needed on mental health and strategy for advocacy with local government was set in motion. Organisations shared their intentions to continue supporting more people experiencing mental health problems in each community.