Mental health is an essential part of a person’s overall well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It plays a role in our ability to handle stress, to form relationships, and research suggests that it can even affect physical health. Mental illness is not only in itself considered a major social problem, it also often results from the diverse social problems individuals face daily.
Advocacy is an important means of raising awareness on mental health issues and ensuring that mental health is on the national agenda of governments, as a means of combating stigma and prejudice against people with mental disorders and improving services. The course highlights the importance of understanding the current mental policy framework and how these affect people with mental illness to protect the rights of people with mental health disorders. By voicing your support for mental health as advocates, you actively destigmatise mental health and pave the way for lasting change.
The Advocacy Accelerator offers a 3-part Mental Health and Advocacy Studio. It is offered for free to civil society organizations working in Africa. The studios comprise three 90-minute virtual intense interactions on a particular topic. The sessions build progressively on each other. Topics range from a general overview of mental health, mental health advocacy, and developing a mental health advocacy strategy, and self-care for advocates, amongst other topics.