Inclusion is when everyone can participate in community activities and access the same opportunities and services. It is when positive changes reach everyone in the community so that no one is left behind.
As part of efforts to promote the use of positive language, supportive cultural practices and ensure that people living with disabilities, including persons with mental health conditions, know their rights and are protected by the law, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), in partnership with The PsykForum organized a two-day training for people from self-help groups and various disability groups including Ghana Blind Union(GBU), Ghana Federation Disability(GFD), Basic Needs, Ghana Association of persons with Albinism and the Mental Health Society of Ghana.
The goal of the training was to empower and equip the participants as community champions to enable them to engage people in the community through small group sensitization sessions (market women, drivers’ unions and apprenticeship shops, churches and mosques, etc.) with the use of anti-stigma messages, including positive disability words and phrases.
The champions were empowered with knowledge on how to engage their peers, local authorities, churches, mosques, market centres, various disability groups and other key identified groups to participate in social mobilization campaigns toward social and behavioural change and using positive words. They were also trained on effective communication strategies to build confidence and sensitize the public on myths and misconceptions about persons with disabilities, including persons with mental health conditions.
The Program Manager, Mr. Anthony Dogbedo, said the training forms part of a three-year project, that is, The Social Behavior Change Communication and Stigma Reduction for Mental Health and Disability Inclusion Project. The project is being implemented by the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie to help reduce stigma and discrimination and enhance mental health and disability inclusion.