MindFreedom Ghana, a leading mental health advocacy organization, has concluded regional meetings with civil society organizations to validate the shadow report on human rights in mental health to be submitted to the Human Rights Commission. United Nations man.
The validation is part of a nationwide consultation engagement that began in January 2022 to gather public feedback on the human rights situation in Ghana for people with psychosocial and mental health disabilities in under the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.
The completion of the regional validation, which grouped Ghana’s 16 regions into four zones, to solicit inputs for the drafting of the report, paves the way for the national validation, due in two weeks, and the presentation of the shadow report. to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights by July 14, 2022.
At the final validation workshop held in Accra, Ms Esther Akua Gyamfi, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, commended MindFreedom and other mental health actors for publishing a report impressive and promoted the rights of people with mental health. and psychosocial disabilities in Ghana.
“I’m impressed with the report, it’s a good report, it’s simple and detailed,” she said. “I have to say that MindFreedom and all the partners have done a great job putting together this simple report, it’s simple but very detailed, I have to commend you for that.”
Ms Gyamfi also said that efforts were being made to compile national data on people with disabilities under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program to ensure that no one was excluded from it and the common fund for people. disabilities.
MindFreedom Ghana organized the consultative meeting under a project titled “Institutional Strengthening and Promoting the Rights of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mechanism”.
Mr. Dan Taylor, Executive Secretary of MindFreedom Ghana, said the pledge was aimed at strengthening the participation of organizations of PWDs in assessing and reporting on the rights of PWDs within the framework of the UPR.
He also encouraged public awareness of the many suggestions and pleas for improving the human rights of people with psychosocial disorders.
The different sessions served as a springboard for more in-depth discussions that culminated in the creation of a unified alternative draft report.
At the final validation workshop, Mr. Taylor said that the attendance at the meeting and the engagement of participants in the zone sessions was very impressive and informative.
The draft report highlights several critical issues such as the activities of the Ghana Mental Health Authority, which also has a strong presence in the Persons with Disabilities Act 715 in promoting the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disorders .
For example, the Mental Health Authority identified 1,075 traditional and faith-based healing centers in 2020, although many more operate unregulated and whose operations typically violate mental health patients.
The UPR is a four-year process in which the 194 member states of the United Nations analyze the human rights situation in each country. Ghana’s human rights record has been assessed three times under this system – in 2008, 2012 and 2017.