Psychiatric Survivors Association of Fiji (PSA)
Persons with Disabilities represent a sizeable number in the Pacific, with an estimated 1.7million of almost the 10 million people in the region. Meaningful engagement and empowerment of persons with psychosocial disabilities is key to advance development for persons with psychosocial disabilities and organisations for Persons with psychosocial Disabilities and therefore accessibility, inclusiveness, safety and practical measures is a vital pillar to successfully achieving the goal of the organisation in providing support during a pandemic and improving the lives of persons with psychosocial disability. Accessibility, Inclusiveness and understanding the nature of the disability is fundamental to persons with disabilities, to be able to access services, for meaningful engagement and participation and to be able to live a life of dignity within our community and society.
The Psychiatric Survivors Association of Fiji (PSA) is the oldest user survivor organization in the Pacific Islands. It is a national organization of people with psychosocial disabilities that aims to provide individual support to its members and promote human rights through friendship, peer support, advocacy, mental health promotion, community education, campaigning and policy work. Since its establishment in 2004 it is run by a small group of people who had spent time in Fiji’s only inpatient facility (St. Giles Hospital). PSA has now grown with around 350 members throughout the Fiji Islands.
PSA carried out a comprehensive SITAN study, which highlighted the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on livelihood and employment. The findings of this research are instrumental in reinforcing the advocacy work for an all-encompassing standard that ensures no one is left behind. Additionally, the study identifies the specific requirements of individuals with psychosocial disabilities, which could serve as valuable insights for relevant ministries, stakeholders, national leaders, policymakers, OPDs, and CSOs. This data sheds light on the challenges faced by this demographic and can guide policy-making and resource allocation for a more inclusive and supportive society..
Project Timeframe: November 2021 – January 2022
Project Name: MIASA Hope
Thematics: Building Community Support Systems &Employment & Livelihood Opportunities
Target Individuals/group: 140