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BMHRG Pittam Award

The group achieved joint first place in the award competition, along with the Northern Ireland Community for Refugee’s and Asylum Seekers. The award recognises the success of the group in several key areas, namely, their efforts to mobilise others around mental health issues, their achievements in securing policy change with the ‘Card before You Leave Scheme’ and their use of PPR’s Human Rights Based Approach to ensure the government lives up to their commitment to the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

The work that the group has carried out to date, and which they continue to do, is all the more remarkable given the fact that they are all affected directly, or indirectly, by mental health issues. The group is made up of service users, carers and family members bereaved by suicide. Through their work, they hope to ensure that other individuals and groups do not have to experience the same failures and frustrations that they themselves have encountered, both in terms of access to services, and in the struggle to have their voice heard in the decisions made around mental health services.

The group intend to use the award to help other groups and individuals to learn more about how they too can use rights to help make change happen. The award will allow for the facilitation of workshops throughout Northern Ireland to assist groups in identifying the issues they face when accessing mental health services and also allow the Belfast Mental Health Rights Group to share their experience on how to campaign for change. The group are delighted that a key focus of their work, ensuring that other s have access to the information they need to build on the Mental Health Rights Campaign, can now be taken forward. They are looking forward to sharing their experience with others and meeting with groups to find out more about the issues they too are experiencing.

If you would like to find out more about the work of Belfast Mental Health Rights Group or would like to register your interest in attending a workshop about the work of the group and the Mental Health Rights Campaign, please contact Clare on clarewatson@pprproject.org or 028 9031 3315.