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Home arrow Language & Literature arrow The Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health
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Safe Social Spaces

While some dialogue and critical thinking about mental health occurred between MHVs and PEs, they themselves struggled to facilitate critical discussions in wider community settings. Stigma was a completely obstructive barrier to the inclusion of people with mental disorders in community-based DPGs. While ten DPGs were formed, they were fully comprised of people with physical or sensory deficits and people with both common and severe psychosocial disabilities were excluded.

SHIFA, however, did make some small gains to amplify safe social spaces for people with seizure disorders by facilitating open discussion among community members as well as providing access to medical care. A mother from one community reported that her child who had been socially ostracised by neighbours due to her frequent seizures became fully engaged in school and social life following medical treatment to manage her seizures.

Developing Partnerships

Some progress was made by community members working collaboratively and with outside groups to increase resources for mental health in their community. Through training and information, community members with both physical and psychosocial disabilities increased access to government entitlements. Two hundred and sixty-three people accessed disability certificates and 126 people started on the disability pension. Another example of an evolving partnership was the invitation to SHIFA to run their mental health clinic in the government community health centre.

 
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