People suffering from mental illness, epilepsy or psychosocial disabilities do not receive adequate treatment or support in many countries, especially poor ones. The plight of those affected and their families is hardly taken into account by the regional and international public, and their rights are violated in many different ways. Those affected are made invisible and forgotten. However, the humanity of a society is reflected in the way it deals with its weakest members.
The Mindful Change Foundation (MCF), founded in Darmstadt (Germany) in 2018, is committed to supporting the local promotion of social psychiatric projects. It offers professional and financial help. Wherever possible, we cooperate with other organizations active in this field.
People with severe mental or epileptic illnesses or with psychosocial disabilities often behave in an unfamiliar, strange, and confusing or irritating way and sometimes have a threatening effect on their neighborhood and family. The reactions are often incomprehension, fear and aggression. In addition, they themselves and their relatives need constant help to cope with everyday life. In many countries those affected are stigmatized, isolated, disenfranchised and treated cruelly, sometimes for years and decades. Although they are numerous in all societies, they usually have no lobby and cannot themselves make public the injustice done to them. The relatives are very burdened or overwhelmed and are often left in the lurch.
Some cultures see the consequences of mentally illness as the result of guilt or demon possession in the behavior of the sick. Some “treatment” is supposed to tame or expel demons. This usually happens where there is no or very little psychiatric care, as in many African and Asian countries.
This is MCF’s vision: People with mental illness and epilepsy should receive humane treatment in all countries of the world. They have a right to it. Their rights have been formulated in many conventions, including the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which came into force in 2008 (see “Background and Materials” on this website).
Our work is based on international and regional expertise, in particular the Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020, which makes the following demands:
• Updating national legislation
• Development of national mental health programs
• Training of non-psychiatric health workers
• Decentralized supply
• Priority for outpatient work over inpatient work
• Drug supply
• Inpatient treatment places in general hospitals
From 1 to 11 April 2019, we travelled to Côte d’Ivoire to see how the SAMENTACOM project in Bouaké, supported by our Foundation, has progressed. […]
With the support of our Mindful Change Foundation, the association Yenfaabima in Piéla/Burkina Faso was able to employ a psychiatric specialist from 1 March 2019. […]
On 16.02.2019 a symposium on human rights violations against people with mental illness, epilepsy and mental disability took place in the Gießhaus of the University of Kassel. […]
The film “La Maladie du Démon” (2018) by director Lilith Kugler shows the situation of mentally and epileptically ill people in Burkina Faso. […]