Authors: CBM Australia
While the introduction of the 2030 Agenda represents a step forward for all people with disabilities, the development of the new framework also signifies an important step forward in recognition of mental health as a development issue. The preceding Millennium Development Goals contained no reference to mental health; however, the Sustainable Development Goals specifically highlight the promotion of mental health as intrinsically tied to broader health and wellbeing outcomes. Despite this first step, much more remains to be done in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda to include people with mental health problems or psychosocial disabilities in all goals, and all global development efforts.
Like their counterparts with intellectual disabilities, people with psychosocial disabilities are highlighted in the Australian Government’s Development for All strategy as particularly prone to being ‘left out of disability-inclusive development efforts’. Psychosocial disability is frequently misunderstood, and the capacities of people with psychosocial disabilities discounted. Often, people with psychosocial disabilities will be viewed as medically dependent, with power and responsibility taken away from individuals and assumed by psychiatrists or institutions. This overlooks the richness of the lives of people with psychosocial disabilities, and their capacity to work towards not only personal growth, but the inclusive growth of their communities.