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Post: Blog2 Post

Addressing mental health should start with equality

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

I am Matrika Devkota and I hail from Nepal. As a person with lived experience of mental health conditions and a suicide survivor, I have personally borne the impacts of stigma, prejudice, misconceptions and discrimination.

I have faced many barriers, personally, since the age of 15, when I developed psychosocial issues in my life, and then again professionally while working for the rights and dignity of other people with psychosocial disabilities and mental health conditions in Nepal.

These barriers exist in many forms. They are present in attitudes, institutions, cultural prejudices, how people communicate, socio-political environments and the law.

The common thread is that, ultimately, these barriers are based on the stigma surrounding not only psychosocial issues but the individuals affected by them. In Nepal, there are discriminatory and derogatory laws and regulations against people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities. As a result, people with these conditions are:

  • physically chained or wrongfully confined

  • stigmatised and discriminated against

  • treated as ‘other’; feared, pitied or viewed as being of less value

  • excluded in all aspects of life (social, cultural, economic and political)

  • incapacitated

  • institutionalised

  • substituted by guardians or psychiatrists in decision-making processes

  • denied from exercising civil, political and economic rights

  • denied the opportunities for participation, building livelihoods, and being empowered

  • verbally abused.


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