TCI Asia Pacific Plenary in Bali, August 2018
A group of persons with psychosocial disabilities, and some cross disability supporters, in Asia connected and met regularly, since 2012, with the support of the Bapu Trust, Pune (www.baputrust.com) and the International Disability Alliance (www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org). The group took the name of “TransAsian strategy group” (2012-2014), eventually becoming, “Transforming Communities for Inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities – Asia” (TCI-Asia), in Bangkok, in November of 2014; and TCI Asia Pacific in Bali, August of 2018.
Participants to the first Asia workshop on ‘Transforming communities for Inclusion’ who met in Pune, India, in May 2013, decided to build an identity location as ‘persons with psychosocial disabilities’, considering this identity to be more inclusive of diversity than ‘user and survivor of psychiatry’.
Article 19 (Right to live independently and be included in communities) was always an attractive advocacy topic for us in Asia: Inclusion. We recognized that inclusion will not happen unless communities are transformed: Hence the name: “Transforming communities for the inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities” and the focus on Article 19, that gives a universal guidance on what needs to happen for the right to Inclusion (Article 19) to be realized.
In December of 2020, considering its unique positioning as an ‘inclusion movement’, TCI Asia Pacific decided to become TCI, a global organization of persons with psychosocial disabilities, and other identities thereof.
The legacy of our worldwide movement
TCI is inspired by the strong history and legacy of the movements of users and survivors of psychiatry, ex-patients’ liberation movements and a variety of mad pride movements, which have existed since the 1960s. We pay our respect to those leaders. The founding members of TCI joined the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and the international disability caucus at the time, in fighting hard to get a CRPD that ‘we can live with’. In 2013, when interested persons with diverse identities met, and discussed the identity question. This happened through a 5 day intensive workshop titled, ‘Transforming Communities for Inclusion’, organized by the Bapu Trust for Research on Mind & Discourse, in Pune. Here a new vision for Inclusion, based on the evolving identity of ‘persons with psychosocial disabilities’ was created. Empowered by the extraordinary vision and guidance of the CRPD, TCI’s purpose is to situate ourselves at the center of the cross-disability movements at the national, regional and global levels, as a way to reclaim our dignity and autonomy and experience our independence to realize our right to live in the community.
TCI (Global) sets an example on the importance of Socratic Dialogue- using peaceful means towards reaching the goal of preparing and transforming the communities for the inclusion of people with psychosocial disabilities.
To provide a global platform for people with psychosocial disabilities to create a common vision for advocacy for our inclusion at the national level.
To develop status, white and strategy papers for advocacy actions with respect to laws, policies, and institutional relationships in the region, to facilitate an enabling environment, for the full inclusion of people with psychosocial disabilities.
To mobilize persons with psychosocial disabilities and cross disability supporters, to advocate for our inclusion within disability and development through well formed program instruments including Fellowships, Microgrants, Country Missions, Multi-stakeholder platforms, etc.
To support and encourage multi-national, multi-regional, south-south and north south collaborations and to facilitate and participate in sub-regional, regional thematic consultations, plenaries and global plenaries of DPOs of persons with psychosocial disabilities and our cross disability supporters.
To lead, partake of and contribute to global advocacy on the full realization of our human rights, particularly Article 19 (Living independently and being included in the community), by collaborating and influencing various INGOs, think tanks, co-operations, academia, and efforts by UN agencies, for transforming all development sectors and actors for our inclusion.
To envision and enable human rights-based, CRPD compliant community mental health and inclusion services, for persons with psychosocial disabilities, by capacity building of DPOs in the creation of violence-free social habitats, “building back better”, community support systems and expanding choice in the realm of wellbeing services and inclusion practices.