Fracarita International’s Breaking the Chains of Stigma in Mental Health presented 50 years of inspired commitment of the Brothers of Charity in Rwanda during the Healthier Longer Lives International Conference in New York on 8 and 9 November 2018.
Fracarita International attended and presented the case of Rwanda during the Healthier Longer Lives International Conference (8-9 November 2018) in New York, organized by Fountain House. Mr. Prakash Goossens (International Advocacy, Fracarita International) gave a presentation on 50 years of commitment of the Brothers of Charity in Rwanda. The major focus of his intervention has been the inspired work of the Brothers of Charity in mental health that helped so many persons with severe mental illness through rehabilitation and helped them to enter into healthier lives.
Fracarita International is an active supporter of the growing global efforts to improve access to mental health services, protect human rights, and achieve full social inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities.
In his speech, Prakash specifically mentioned the vision, mission and the values of the Brothers of Charity to break literally the chains and also to break the stigma related to mental health.
In the historical overview, Prakash emphasized the pioneering work of the first Brothers of Charity sent to Rwanda. In 1967, the Brothers of Charity established a first psychiatric hospital in Ndera, Rwanda, close to the capital city of Kigali. The brothers went into the local prisons with the objective of freeing the mentally ill from their shackles and transferring them to the gentle care of the hospital. But mentally ill people were also brought into the hospital from the surrounding hills, usually chained by hands and feet and often suffering from deep wounds as a result of wearing the heavy iron harnesses for many years. Having/Making healthier meaningful lives through mental health care facilities and focusing on rehabilitation into society that was and is still the mission of the Brothers of Charity.
To conclude, Prakash presented an overview of the Fracarita International campaign of breaking the chains in mental health (Dr. Guislain Award).
For more information about the conference: https://www.healthierlongerlives.org
For more information about the Brothers of Charity: www.brothersofcharity.org
For more information about the Dr. Guislain Award : www.drguislainaward.org