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Disability as an Intersectional Human Rights Movement - An Interview with Janice Cambri from the Philippines

TCI Asia Pacific recently interviewed Janice Cambri from the Philippines. A survivor of psychiatry, her personal history is what propelled her to become a disability rights activist. She founded the first advocate group for persons with psychosocial disabilities in the Philippines after being introduced to the CRPD and TCI Asia Pacific in 2014. She works with a strong identity of a self advocate and draws from her own experience to work towards ending human rights violations of persons with psychosocial disabilities.

A long time leftist activist, it is Janice’s alliance with the leftist movement in the Philippines that has helped shape her intersectional point of view when it comes to understanding disability. She is a strong advocate for more discussions on capitalism and it’s effect on driving the biomedical mental health systems. For many years now, Janice has been involved in national, regional and international level advocacy not only for the rights of persons with psychosocial…

Reframing "#WhatWENeed" through the Bali Declaration

On the 29th of August, 2018, the 5th “Classic Edition” Plenary of the TCI Asia Pacific was held in Bali, Indonesia. At the Plenary, persons with psychosocial disabilities and their cross disability supporters from 21 countries of the Asia Pacific region came together to adopt the Bali Declaration.

The Bali Declaration is an amalgamation of the core of TCI Asia Pacific’s philosophy, aspirations and work. It comprehensively lists out the systematic violations of rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities by the medical model, looks towards an entire paradigm shift towards a social and development oriented model framed and rooted in the CRPD as opposed to a mental health and biomedical model, and confirms the failure of overarching legal, political, economic and social structures in ensuring equal participation and in promoting further exclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities. The Declaration welcomes efforts and shifts towards a more inclusive society with persons wit…

Link between Diet and Mental Health - Role of a Nutritious Diet on Mental Well-Being

The link between diet and health is a well established one. Previous research has shown that there is a well established connection between a diet high on pro-inflammatory foods and depression. The benefits of having a rich, well-balanced diet on our well being and as an additional and alternative form of recovery is widely practiced at the Bapu Trust and is one of the core elements of the Seher program's 8 point framework intervention.

Recently on Mad in America in an article titled "Study Explores Connections Between Diet and 'Serious Mental Illnesses'", Bernalyn Ruiz wrote about a recent letter to the editor published in World Psychiatry where data taken from the UN Biobank study highlighted the link between poor diet and severe mental illnesses. The suggestion made by the authors of the letter to the editor was that “further consideration should be given to increasing consumption of nutrient‐dense foods that are known to reduce systemic inflammation.”

Read t…

Press Release - Oppose Protocol for Detention, Forced Treatment; Provide Alternatives #WithdrawOviedo

(Brussels) – Council of Europe member states should oppose new proposed standards regulating the detention and forced treatment of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The body in charge of developing the standards, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), consisting of experts from each member state, is to meet on November 21, 2018 in Strasbourg.

The new standards are being developed as a draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention on Bioethics, a Council of Europe convention that regulates human rights in the framework of biology and medicine. The Additional Protocol aims to provide a framework for involuntary hospitalization and treatment of people with so-called “mental disorder” in Europe. The Council of Europe is an inter-governmental human rights organization consisting of 47 member countries, including the 28 European Union states.

“The Council of Europe prides itself in promoting the highest human rights standards, but the draft A…

Making Sense of Trauma - Moving Away from the Disease Model and Embracing Cultural Responses to Stress

Noel Hunter recently wrote on Mad in America about how the 'trauma-informed trend often falls short'. In this article, she argues that while there are more and more mental health professionals who are becoming 'trauma-informed' and though the trend is moving in that direction, many of them have not moved beyond the disease model of trauma and are yet to embrace the holistic understanding of trauma and recovery.

She writes about the problem of 'invisible trauma' - trauma which does not check off the traditional, DSM led understanding of how, why and what trauma should look like and be caused by. She argues that trauma is highly subjective and "what is considered to be life-threatening to a two-year-old is very different than to a 22-year-old". She argues compellingly that being 'trauma-informed' for most mental health professionals is limited to that trauma that is easily "identifiable and measurable" otherwise it "apparently do…

From the Mental Health Movement to the Disability Movement - In Conversation with Yeni Rosa Damayanti

Left: Yeni Rosa Damayanti

Recently, TCI Asia Pacific spoke with Yeni Rosa Damayanti, Chairperson of the Indonesian Mental Health Association, about her experience with international, regional and national advocacy in human rights for persons with disabilities, the ideologies she aligns herself with and where she sees and hopes to see persons with psychosocial disabilities in the future.

Yeni has many years of experience working on various issues of rights for persons with psychosocial disabilities and her work has not been limited to the mental health sector, often collaborating and engaging with other human rights movements and the cross disability movement. She is also a member of TCI Asia Pacific and has strongly pushed for a paradigm shift in mental health advocacy to move towards the development sector and disability movement. She has considerable experience with advocacy and has been pivotal in changing mental health legislation to be more CRPD compliant and inclusive in Indone…

Mad in Asia Interview Series on 'Making Inclusion a Reality'

An interview series first published on Mad in Asia Pacific looks at the work of three activists working in the Asia Pacific region. Emmy Charissa from Singapore, Silvia Antonia De Costa Soares from Timor Leste and Frank from China speak to Jhilmil Breckenridge from Mad in Asia Pacific.

In the first part of this two-part series, the interviews are conducted at the TCI Asia Pacific Bali Plenary 2018 where the three activists talk about the efforts they have made in their countries to advocate for the CRPD, the traditional and alternative healing methods they practice and what changes they would like to see in their countries and the Asia Pacific region as a whole. Watch this interview series to know more about the specific regional activism going on in the Asia Pacific.