TCI launched its annual advocacy campaign, #WhatWENeed, as a response to the Lancet Commission on Mental Health (2018). This report reinforced the stereotypes perpetuated against persons with psychosocial disabilities and put the cause of our exclusion on the ‘lack of treatment of mental disorders’. A concerning trope in these documents, carried forward into global advocacy by the Global Mental health Movement and their allies, for example, with respect to the SDGs, is that, if ‘mental illness’ is left untreated, it will result in economic downfall of nations and the degradation of peaceful cities. The literature gave no respect at all to the identities of persons with psychosocial disabilities, and the extraordinary human rights violations and humiliations they already face, particularly institutionalization.
#WhatWENeed campaign has been one of our yearly advocacy instruments to continually challenge the globalizing of psychiatry and its institutions and their influence on shaping of international policies. Our ‘forced entry’ towards the narrow mental health door by mental health sector and allied actors, and routine ‘enforced disappearances’ enacted through the mental health laws, has resulted in the medicalization of all aspects of our lives and exposed us to risks of institutionalization and cruel, inhuman and torturous treatments. Through the campaign and our works, TCI has been advocating for our entry through the human rights door that enables disability inclusive development and facilitates community inclusion by transforming communities. The campaign provides opportunities for engaging persons with psychosocial disabilities and OPDs to amplify our voices on inclusion in development agendas, in all spheres of life, and not being reduced to Article 25 (Health) and Goal 3 (Good Health & Well Being) of SDG. This is our attempt to create a strong counter narrative that establishes our interest and autonomy over all aspects of our lives, and therefore, embrace all of the CRPD and the SDGs.
The campaign is a way for our movement to reclaim the mental health week, starting the 1st week of October, to pass these key messages. The campaign gives a platform for our members to present their work and advocacy to a wider global audience. Every year, the campaign has focussed on issues of topical interest at the time. Other than the issue of stopping the normative violence against us, inclusion in the SDGs, questions of our identity, political participation, support systems, de-institutionalization and various themes related to our community inclusion have been featured in the campaign by our members, partners and allies. #WhatWENeed 2022, truly demonstrated the global footprint of TCI and captured the vibrant, strong and core messages of our movement with respect to inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities.
This year, we are focusing on our core thematics (described in the concept note below) and invite all our members to submit their works. Submissions are invited in all formats (blogs, poems, photos, videos, artworks, short messages etc.) Read more