A team from the Psychiatric Survivors Association led by projects officer Jese Mamanavesi and two volunteers conducted activities at various communities in Taveuni recently.
Mr Mamanavesi said they wanted to change people’s attitudes on persons with psychosocial disabilities through community education.
“At the same time we gather information to help us advocate to the Government and influence other stakeholders on the rights of person with psychosocial disabilities,” Mr Mamanavesi said.
He said the two volunteers, who were also survivors, had a chance to share their experiences in difficult situations they faced and how they dealt with it.
“They encouraged the community not to look down on others,” he said.
Mr Mamanavesi said it was all about inclusion and acceptance of persons with disabilities in the community.
“As part of our outreach activity we had to visit people with psychosocial disabilities in Taveuni. “We closely worked with the Waiyevo Hospital to liaise with our clients in the community and also had time to visit persons with mental illness.” He said they targeted persons with psychosocial disabilities, carers and family members.
People with psychosocial disabilities often experience neglect, reject, isolation, stigma and discrimination on a daily basis in most communities.
“We managed to visit 10 to 15 people with psychosocial disabilities and also discussed with family members ways to help them in their daily lives.