Continued Abuse of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities Worries MeHUCA

The Mental Health Users and Carers Association (MeHUCA) has made fresh calls for the public to respect the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities amid reports that their rights are being violated at the expense of sympathizing with them.

MeHUCA Executive Director Memory Bismarck said psychosocial disability is just an illness and there is no any justification to discriminate people with mental health sickness.

She said this in Mulanje on Friday at the end of a two-day training on the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities.

“We expect chiefs, teachers, health workers, religious leaders and other service providers to ensure that mental health patients benefit from their services,” said Bismarck.

Steven Msowoya, the training consultant told Zodiak Online that some people think persons with mental health illness are incapable and deny them their human rights.

He said rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities have been explicitly explained in the Disability Act, the country’s constitution and other international instruments which Malawi ratified and as such they are not negotiable.

“Persons with mental health illness have the right to make their own decisions and wherever possible they should be assisted to make good decisions in case their illness is severe but they should own the decisions,” said Msowoya.

Mental health care giver from Mangochi Joyce Kandulu told Zodiak Online that through the training, her capacity in protecting mental health patients has increased.

“I am going home fully equipped with skills on caring and protecting persons with psychosocial disability and I have learnt a lot through the interaction we had with our friends from other districts,” said Kandulu.

The training attracted mental health users and cares from Nkhotakota, Salima, Mangochi and Mulanje.

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