Festus Fajemilo Foundation (FFF), a disability-focused Non-Governmental organization has launched a Re-address Inclusion Rights and Empowerment Project (RIRE), to improve and advance services for persons with psychosocial disabilities.
Launching the 4-month project which is being supported by the Pan African Network for Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities (PANPPD), Mr Afolabi Fajemilo, the Executive Director of FFF revealed that the project is aimed at advocating for social change and inclusive policies for people with psychosocial disability. He also noted that the project is supported by the International Disability Alliance and Open Society Foundations.
Mr. Fajemilo also mentioned that the project has been set up to get the government’s attention to the plight of persons with psychosocial disability, especially their digital inclusion post COVID-19.
He urged the society to support those with psychosocial disability by providing an inclusive and enabling environment through positive attitude and right perception.
Ms. Titi Tade, Technical Lead on RIRE Project shared that the project was designed for the specific purpose of addressing the challenges faced by persons with psychosocial disabilities (PSD), which have been heightened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing PSD as an unseen disability which is usually ignored, Ms. Tade explained that the disruptions brought about by COVID-19 have hampered persons with PSD from functioning properly within the society.
Noting that the Lagos State Government set up Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) for people who had COVID, Ms. Tade stressed that it is important that the government set up support services that focus on persons with PSD, so they can be reintegrated into the society post COVID-19.
The project Technical Lead commended the Lagos state Government as the first state to pass the new mental health bill but added that, “it is not for the bill to come into law but to put structures in place to help the law become effective and persons with PSD should also be included in decision making processes.
On his part, Seun Dosunmu, Project Officer, RIRE, noted that it is a timely project that cares for the inclusion of persons with psychosocial disability.
He said, “for a long time, conversations around mental health have not been popular, with this project, we hope to bridge the knowledge gap, engage stakeholders and change the wrong perceptions about psychosocial disabilities.”