the Mad Pride Parade - India

Advocacy Human Rights Policy Research Service Delivery

General Information

From: 2019-10-10 00:00:00
Until: 2019-10-10 00:00:00

Where to find us

Chennai, Chennai, India


Mad pride began in 1993 in Toronto, Canada in 1993 and later spread to the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Portugal, Madagascar and the United States as an effort to reduce misconceptions and educate the public on the causes of mental illness, the experience of accessing mental health services and to address the global suicide pandemic. Most importantly, it sought to reclaim negative vocabulary associated with persons with mental health issues, such as “nutter”, “looney” and “psycho”, and wear the label of madness with an air of pride. The movement demonstrated success reducing isolation, without diluting the seriousness of the distress caused by the illness, as expressed by participants. The original movement went took a downturn after one of its founders died by suicide, but the spirit of the movement spurred several across the globe, such as the bed push method, wall tours, the mental health resistance movement and the like. Several survivors in India have begun to speak out on their experiences, and have received solidarity from civil society organisations, students and other movements. They, however, continue to be burdened by a fragmented and poorly designed mental health system that fails to acknowledge the needs of persons with lived experience, and the effectiveness of participatory models of care. A biomedical model continues to dominate the service narrative, offering little respite to service-users and families, especially those facing the double-jeopardy of poverty and other structural barriers. Popular culture and mass media have not succeeded in painting an accurate picture of mental health in India society and mental health issues still remain the skeleton in the closet. The sensitivity in the person with mental health issues is challenged by the terms. Caregivers and the person with mental illness still cringe to ask for help. In keeping with these trends, limited public understanding of mental illness and the movement’s transformative potential, Mad Pride will be initiated in India through the Movement for Global Mental Health hosted by the Sundram Fasteners Centre for Social Action and Research in The Banyan Academy, led by persons with lived experience from all walks of life, starting with a parade, which will take place on World Mental Health Day, October 2019 in Chennai, India. The parade will host a walkathon, talks in different cities across India on mental ill-health, social models of disability, platforms for formal and informal modes of peer support in addition to central roles for users and caregivers in designing, auditing and evaluating mental health services. The walkathon for financial inclusion for persons will mental health issues will end at the Tamil Nadu State Secretariat, where individuals with lived experience, their families, service providers and the general public will petition the government to enforce financial entitlements for persons with mental health issues with 80% disability as mandated by the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017, and the Rights of Persons with Disability Act of 2016. Formal petitions by individuals who have been earlier rejected by the system will also be submitted to higher officials from the State Government. This parade has been designed with a broad blueprint based on expressed needs of service-users accessing care at The Banyan and invites survivors, families, students, and the general public to participate, and help create a diverse, colourful and accepting ecosystem for all. Mad pride will be one of its kind in breaking the shackles of stigma and discrimination.

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