Mental health, human rights and the Asia-Pacific

Room 108, Melbourne Law School 185 Pelham Street Carlton, 3053

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Gary Dickson

gary.dickson@unimelb.edu.au

From campaigns to end the chaining of people in mental health crises in Indonesia, to trans-Asian networks of local disabled peoples organisations seeking regional solutions, the Asia-Pacific is seeing an increasing movement to address human rights in the mental health context.

On September 14 the Disability Research Initiative and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute will host an evening seminar on mental health, disability and human rights in the Asia-Pacific. As well as hearing from two eminent presenters on key human rights challenges in the region, a panel discussion will take place with leaders in the field, including policymakers and advocates from India, Indonesia and Australia.

The aim of the series is to highlight the intersections of disability, mental health and human rights and to promote cross-disability advocacy in Australia and abroad.

Associate Professor Harry Minas is Head of the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, Centre for Mental Health, at the University of Melbourne. He has worked with Indonesian policymakers, academics and advocates on human rights protections for persons with mental disorders in Indonesian law, including CRPD-compliant implementation of Indonesian mental health law. He has supported the national and provincial governments in Indonesia to eliminate chaining and confinement in homes, villages and institutions. Minas has also worked extensively in the area of asylum seeker and refugee mental health and rights protection in Australia.

Bhargavi Davar, Ph. D. is the founder of the Bapu Trust for Research on Mind and Discourse and Director of its research arm, the Center for Advocacy in Mental Health (CAMH) in Pune, India. Dr Davar convenes a Trans-Asia Network of People with Psychosocial Disability called Transforming Communities for Inclusion (TCI-Asia). She is currently a facilitator of the International Disability Association (IDA) and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) BRIDGE course which builds the capacity of Disabled People's Organisations to apply the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to development in their context.

Following short presentations by Professor Minas and Dr Davar, a group of panellists will convene, including.

Aan Kurniawan has been working in the area of mental health and disability at the Centre of Humanity and Health Policy, in the Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia. He has been involved in various projects including related to community-based rehabilitation and accessible primary health care for people with disability.

Aleisha Carroll is a Disability Inclusion Advisor in the Inclusive Development Department at CBM Australia. She currently works on a number of development programs and research projects in Africa, Asia and the Pacific with government and NGOs towards inclusion of people with disability.

Trevor Carroll is Executive Officer of Disability Justice Advocacy, and Chairperson for theexecutive of the Disabled Peoples International (DPI) Asia Pacific Region. He serves as one of five world council members from the DPI Asia Pacific region.

Ben Rinaudo is employed by Wellways Australia in a designated peer/lived experience worker role, working to support people’s empowerment to take an active leadership role in organisational change, community education and awareness and personal recovery objectives.

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(.mp3 21.05 MB download)