This webinar series was organised in close collaboration with disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs), the European Disability Forum and Mental Health Europe. It took place online on 6, 8 and 12 December from 14:00 to 16:00 CET and brought together experts, rights holders and Equality Bodies working in the area of disability, to discuss how Equality Bodies can better understand and support persons with psychosocial disabilities and mental health issues.
Find below the seminar’s learning materials available for download.
Global crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, disproportionately affect people who are already in a vulnerable situation. People with psychosocial disabilities are among those at disproportionate risk of violation of their rights, as shown in the 2021 perspective “Equality, Diversity, and Non-Discrimination in Healthcare: Learning from the Work of Equality Bodies” and the webinar series organised based on the perspective.
The pandemic affected the mental health of many people, including persons with caring responsibilities, women, single parents, etc. due to stress, uncertainty, tension, and rising anxiety. People with psychosocial disabilities face many barriers and challenges in their daily life, starting even with the assessment of their disability, which can often go undiagnosed, for example because it is episodic or not discernible at first glance.
In addition to common risks and challenges, people with mental health issues and psychosocial disabilities may also face a disruption of the essential support and services that are required to enable them to live independently and with dignity. This leads to an increased risk of violence and further discrimination. Their situation can also be aggravated if they experience intersectional forms of discrimination. For instance, women with psychosocial disabilities are at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence and harassment.
Following the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU’s Disability Strategy published in 2021 and recommendations from persons with disabilities themselves, this webinar series aims at, in close collaboration with disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs) such as the European Network of (Ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Mental Health Europe and the European Disability Forum to inform Equality Bodies working in the area of disability, to better understand the problems they face, the support that Equality Bodies could give and to build bridges between Equality Bodies and these communities. With the assistance of the experts in this field, DPOs, this initiative aims at having short, targeted sessions to better inform members and build their capacities relating to topics agreed upon with partners that are key to better understand and support persons with psychosocial disabilities and mental health issues.
The primary objective of this webinar series was to enhance the capacity of Equality Bodies through exchanges with rights holders and peer exchange regarding psychosocial disabilities and persons with mental health issues.
The series aimed to help:
The webinar was made up of three sessions.
6 December 2022, 14.00-16.00 CET, online
This sessions aimed at introducing participants to the themes of the webinar series. Participants learned more on psychosocial disabilities, mental health, self-identification and wording, as well as the forms of discrimination and barriers that people with psychosocial disabilities and mental health problems face. This first session also included a discussion on how to reach out and build a relationship between Equality Bodies and the rights holders.
8 December 2022, 14.00-16.00 CET, online
The second session focused on practical tools to improve the inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities and mental health issues. Representatives from the World Health Organisation shared their resources on mental health at work, Equinet and Equality Bodies discussed reasonable accommodation and the main finding of Equinet’s Discussion Paper on ‘Reasonable Accommodation for persons with disabilities: Exploring challenges concerning its practical implementation’. Participants also learned more on how to create communication campaigns for social impact that involve people with invisible disabilities, mental health issues or related struggles.
12 December 2022, 14.00-16.00 CET, online
The final session of the webinar series focused on legal issues, namely how to deal with legal capacity and autonomous and supported decision making, access to political participation, including the right to vote, for persons with psychosocial disabilities, and the relations between the CRPD and other actors, for instance the Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights.Download the booklet for more resources & info on the speakers