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Raising Aspirations

Inclusive mental health provision

Children with disabilities are at an elevated risk of mental health issues and psychosocial disabilities due to the high levels of stigma and exclusion they experience. Despite this, research has shown that there is very little mental health provision for children and young people with disabilities.

This year we started an exciting new mental health-focused project in Rwanda with UWEZO, in partnership with Network for Social Change, which will directly respond to Rwanda’s mental health service provision gap for children with disabilities. We held participatory workshops with children and young people with disabilities to help us understand their experiences and access to mental health services.

We have provided 94 children with disabilities with one-to-one mentoring from older young people with disabilities.

This research is now informing the design of tools for an inclusive mental health ‘toolbox’, as well as a Disability-Inclusive Child Mental Health Guide. The pack will contain practical advice for practitioners on supporting the mental health of children and young people with disabilities, which we hope will be rolled out nationally.

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