E-NEWSDONATE

Our Model: Calling for Formal Recognition and Support for Carers

In this 5-part series we are exploring each of the unique elements of our model that together holistically transform the wellbeing of carers. The final element of our model is advocacy which is the focus of this article.

 

We believe that carers themselves are the best persons to understand what carers need. In order for carers to claim their rights we bring carers together, alongside other key stakeholders, and support them in strengthening their collective voice so that they can achieve changes in policy and practice at community, regional, and national level. Our long-term plan is to have a South Asia Carers Alliance which will advocate for recognition and support for carers throughout the whole of South Asia.

 

At present our advocacy structure looks like this:

Advocacy efforts have achieved results throughout the various levels. At the local level, carers and their families have been able to access existing schemes such as rice rations and housing allowances as a result of meetings held between carer representatives and government officials.

 

At the district level, we have been successful in encouraging authorities in India to hold mental health camps as required under the District Mental Health Programme which have enabled persons living with mental illness to receive formal diagnosis and treatment for their conditions, many for the first time.

 

We recently organised the first ever carers conference in Bangladesh which was attended by carers, and both local and national government officials. A commitment was made by officials to take up the carers issue at policy level which could potentially offer protection to all carers in Bangladesh.

 

Our advocacy efforts are ongoing with many carers in our project passionate about this cause. Tulsi, a carer from Baglung, Nepal stated: “I dream to advocate for carers and people with mental health conditions. I want to be involved and campaign for change not just at the district level, but at the national level.”

 

This article brings us to the end of our 5-part series. However, next week we will be publishing a bonus article that looks at how the aspects of our model work together to achieve holistic transformation for carers.