Support Speak Your Mind in Your Country
There is one campaign coalition in each country, please look at our country list to see if Speak Your Mind is active in your country and see how you can support them. Contact us for more information if you are interested in being connected with your local national campaign teams.
In the US the campaign team is focused on how to get mental health on the political agenda.They aim to achieve a collective vision and leadership of trans-partisan/trans-sector constituency to push for mental health reform, increase promotion of mental health in the workplace, and integrate mental health promotion, prevention and care within national efforts to achieve universal health coverage.
In response to outdated mental health facilities being shut down but not replaced, the team are arranging housing for service users, within a broader focus on social inclusion. They are also speaking with the government to advocate for more community mental health services.
Anything but short-term in their approach, the team’s energies are going into holding the government accountable for delivering on the promises of the 10-year NHS Long Term Plan for mental health. Mind UK is working with United for Global Mental Health to bring together partners to collectively map our campaign strategy.
In Sierra Leone, the Speak Your Mind team has travelled far and wide, convening civil society to help push mental health higher up the national agenda. They have already seen great progress with the launch of the country’s Mental Health Policy and Strategic Plan. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation is also committed to revising the National Mental Health Act (Lunacy Act, 1902) and to increased funding for mental health. Mental health trained nurses are now officially being recognised for their skills, showing increasing government prioritisation of mental health. In addition to forging alliances and influencing, campaigners are progressively moving at national level, convening civil society to help them push mental health higher up the government’s agenda.
In Liberia, INGOs Médecins Sans Frontières and Partners in Health made commitments to provide psychotropic medication; and the Ministry of Health made a commitment to increase the budget allocation for mental health. This was a big success for SYM partner, Cultivation for Users Hope, as they have been advocating for increased access to mental health medication as well as greater financing.
Campaigners in Ghana are working to enhance public knowledge and awareness on mental health across the 16 capital towns of the country, and amplify the voice of hundreds of mental health service users and carers advocating for their needs and rights. They are mobilising civil society to call for Parliamentary approval and government implementation of the Legislative Instrument of the Mental Health Law (Act 846, 2012). The campaign aims to secure £8.3 million from the government and donors for community mental health services in Ghana.
In Nigeria, campaigners took to the streets of several major towns and cities in May and October 2019. Through their local networks, more than one thousand seven hundred young people came out to march for better mental health including Nigerian pop star Korede Bello and Celebrity influencer Anto Lecky. Speak Your Mind campaigner Victor and his organization Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) have been calling for the banning of the dangerous pesticide Sniper which has been implicated in the majority of reported suicides, and with sustained digital campaigning the pesticide has now been banned. KENYA - Guiding vital legislation, the team is moving to ensure the UN Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities is treated as a key reference point in the reform of the Mental Health Bill. Creatively minded as well as policy-focused, the team is connecting with companies like Well Told Story to shape communications for their national campaign.
The South Africa campaign aims to strengthen the partnership between the government and civil society for the implementation of improved mental health services, including increased funding and periodic studies. Through planning engaging events and activities, campaigners are working on increasing awareness of mental health amongst the general public and encouraging people with lived experience to share their stories.
The India campaign is working hard to create an accessible, context-specific mental health digital toolkit for community engagement and awareness raising. They are training and empowering lived experience advocates to amplify their voices and share stories to reduce stigma around mental ill-health. They are advocating for the implementation of the Mental Health Act and for all Indian states to increase funding for mental health services.
In Nepal, shortly after World Mental Health Day, the Minister of Health and Population made commitments to several areas of mental health that SYM partners KOSHISH and TPO have heavily advocated for, including the approval and implementation of the draft mental health action plan, an increase in the mental health budget and the development of a new mental health division within the Ministry.
Intent on breaking out of silos, the team is finding partners from other sectors. They aim to connect Speak Your Mind with a major campaign on an issue like the environment or healthy eating, in order to capitalise on building momentum for an umbrella issue that encompasses mental health. Leading the charge on this front, campaign partner YAKKUM is raising young people’s awareness of psychosocial disabilities nationally, having joined a social inclusion campaign.
The team is mobilising people affected by mental illness to build a mass movement. Through promoting community events, running major social and traditional media campaigns, collaborating with sector partners, and working with key decision-makers, they are cultivating a network to change the future of mental health care in Australia.
The New Zealand government has allocated NZ$1.9 billion to mental health over five years in its first ever well-being budget. Campaigners are now working on how best to spend that. They envision a collaborative system change, reduced stigma, reduced suicide rates, counselling in all schools, employee assistance programmes in all workplaces, and early intervention. Voices of Hope has been leading the way, engaging people with lived experience, government, and the media to make their vision a reality.
In Tonga the government approved the first-ever national Mental Health Policy - a policy developed by the Ministry of Health and the SYM campaigner and the founder of the Tonga Mental Health and Disabilities Association. Last year’s World Mental Health Day celebration saw the Tongan Prime Minister and the Minister of Health both announcing their commitment to mental health.
Sri Lankan campaigners, led by Consumer Action Network Mental Health Lanka (CAN MH Lanka), are calling for intersectoral collaboration amongst the government to take on mental health promotion for youth, social services, education and rehabilitation. They are also working to involve the private sector to focus on corporate social responsibility with employees. They are collaborating with Miss World (Sri Lanka), the WHO, and other activists to improve mental health in their country. Shortly after COVID-19 pandemic began, they successfully advocated for medications to be delivered to the doorsteps of people with mental health conditions.
Peruvian campaigners, led by Collectivo Descosidos and SODIS have formed a human rights and mental health coalition working hard to promote activism through empowering service users to learn about their rights, collaborating with mental health community center users and caretakers. They are working on developing a committee of people with lived experience to review laws and policies relating to mental health, improving the quality of services in their country.
The Pakistan team, led by Taskeen, has worked to leverage the increased awareness on mental health due to covid and in particular highlight the struggles of the underprivileged community to make the case for movement on mental health. They have brought together the civil society, major organizations like the WHO, and the Government to take tangible action on mental health by asking for the formation of a commission featuring mental health experts and individuals with lived experiences, and for the inclusion of mental health in the national action plan on Health.
The Philippines Speak Your Mind campaign, led by #MentalHealthPH, is working hard to mobilise public demand and action for mental health in order to improve the quality and accessibility of community mental health services. They are strong online campaigners, having secured a partnership with Twitter to promote their services, advance their advocacy messages, and advising Twitter on how to create a digitally safe place. They are currently partnering with 13 other mental health organisations and are working closely with the WHO and the Department of Health to consult on the Special Initiative on Mental Health.
Guiding vital legislation, the Kenya campaign team is moving to ensure the UN Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities is treated as a key reference point in the reform of the Mental Health Bill. The country has recently seen an increase in government engagement in the topic, with cross-ministerial mental health training and panel sessions on a range of mental health issues. Campaigners, led by Users and Survivors of Psychiatry Kenya and United Disabled Persons of Kenya, are constantly working to ensure the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities are protected; following their participation in the WHO Quality Rights Training, they are helping to lead the assessments of mental health facilities.