ARROW is excited to announce our partnership with Anjali, a Kolkata-based organisation working in the field of mental health and human rights, for a cutting-edge initiative on sexuality, SRHR, and psychosocial disabilities. Our organisations believe there’s a need to change prevailing mental health discourses and practices to recognise that persons with psychosocial disabilities are sexual beings with rights and citizenship. The historical view of sexuality of people with mental health issues has been one of pathology and dysfunction, and excludes rights, including to pleasure, while mental health issues have also been disregarded in the arena of SRHR.
As part of this collaboration, we are co-organising “Pleasure, Politics, and Paagalpan,*” a two-day conference on sexuality, rights, and persons with psychosocial disabilities, on 13-14 May 2017 in Kolkata, India. To brainstorm for this conference, Malyn Ando of ARROW joined a dynamic group of intersectoral experts in a planning meeting last 6-7 January 2017, in Kolkata. The conference will address issues around language, body, and representation of persons with psychosocial disabilities. Sessions will explore current practice and frameworks in dealing with sexuality of persons living with psychosocial disabilities, notions and lived realities of pleasure and danger, determinants to sexuality and psychosocial disabilities, and how to move forward to new paradigms. To get updates on the conference, visit: http://bit.ly/sex-psychosocial-disability.
Watch out too for a film portraying stories of desires, love, and challenges of three women with psychosocial disabilities, and a thematic paper on this issue! Anjali and ARROW will launch these products for World Mental Health Day in October 2017.
* Paagalpan means madness in Hindi.