WHO launches awareness campaign on social inclusion for people with mental disabilities in Turkey

People with mental disabilities can face high levels of discrimination in society if the stigma that surrounds mental illness is not addressed and challenged. WHO is committed to ensuring that such people are socially included. A project, co-funded by the European Union and WHO, is set to break down the barriers against inclusion of people with mental disabilities in Turkey.

The Social Inclusion of Persons with Mental Disabilities project was launched during an official ceremony on 5 December 2018 in Ankara, Turkey. The project aims to enhance the competence of the workforce providing health-care services to people with mental disabilities and to improve the community-based health-care services currently being implemented on a national scale.

Social inclusion campaign to boost awareness in Turkey

The ceremony served as a platform for launching an awareness-raising campaign on the term “social inclusion” to be introduced into the Turkish language. Promotional products frequently used in daily life, such as mugs, notebooks, pencils and backpacks, were branded with the definition of social inclusion within the project framework, reading “ensuring that all individuals and groups in society have access to basic rights under adequate and equal conditions and they feel a valuable and important part of society”.

A joint effort by the Turkish authorities, the European Union and WHO

Some of the primary goals of the project include preparing training modules with a people-centred approach and developing evidence-based treatment modalities to support workforce development in the area of community-based mental health care. In order to ensure those goals are achieved, WHO has partnered with the Turkish Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services; and the Central Finance and Contracts Unit under the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.