Self-Advocacy: The Art of Negotiating; the Politics of Dignity

Together with colleagues from the Hamsayeh Peer Support Group I have been involved in the creation of a material that can be used to train self-advocates working in the field of mental health. The material is prepared in a series of conversations on self-advocacy, mental health, dignity and fundamental rights. The sessions are recorded, then transcribed.

The conversations have been most educational for me. I had to go back to the basics and understand again the intimate links between self-advocacy and peer support. The objective of self-advocacy is to exercise the right to express freely, to promote self-determination and protect dignity in the field of mental health, where both in the institutional system of psychiatry and in the informal systems of family and community all these rights are at permanent risk to be ignored. Self-advocacy is rather a process than an act and negotiations play central role in the process.

I am grateful for the title "Self-Advocacy: The Art of Negotiating; the Politics of Dignity" to my colleague Dalip Daswani.

Photo source: http://www.uexpressit.com/_StandUp_SpeakOut.jpg

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