An all-new video from CBM’s End the Cycle! Introducing ‘Explained’…

Have you ever wondered exactly how poverty and disability work together, creating a cycle? Or perhaps you wish you had an easy way to explain to others the links between poverty and disability?

Then our newly released video, The Cycle: Explained, may be just what you need.

It features people with disabilities from low and middle-income countries, including from CBM’s field projects, coming together to tell the story of the poverty-disability cycle. Watch and share now!

Explained is only four minutes long but it has been years in the making. End the Cycle’s crew have filmed people with disabilities in different corners of the world, talking about the cycle of poverty and disability. Then we’ve pieced it all together to create a professional, engaging, globally-relevant video.

Development practitioners, in particular, will appreciate this video. It is well suited to disability-inclusive development training and awareness raising.

Explained features on-screen sign-interpretation, along with sub-titles. We’re also currently finalising French, Spanish and Arabic versions, as well as extended audio-description versions for each language. Keep an eye on our website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to know as these alternative versions are available.

See if you recognise any of the places shown in the video! And don’t forget we love to receive feedback, so please get in touch to let us know what you think of Explained, and how you have been able to use and share it.

Contact Anna Paix: contact@endthecycle.info

Suicide – devastating, common and preventable

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day 2018 on 10 September, Dr. Julian Eaton (Senior Mental Health Advisor at CBM) shares his views on a topic that is often taboo, despite desperately needing to be talked about to raise discourse, awareness, recognition and policy priority for suicide, in turn reducing a scourge that affects far too many people.

Picture copyright: Pixabay

 

When I was 21, my thoughtful, caring, talented, beautiful friend, killed herself. I think her funeral was the most upsetting thing I have ever attended, with all of us asking how a person with the world at her feet could feel such despair that this seemed the only solution. Her death left a hole in her family, and our circle of friends still feel the painful gap in the space she used to occupy.

September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a topic that is increasingly in the news, but that people still find difficult to talk about, though many people are affected. Suicide remains a taboo subject in most parts of the world, often frowned upon by cultural and religious traditions. In fact, the term ‘committing suicide’ refers to the fact that suicide was illegal in many countries. We try to avoid using this terminology, and in countries where suicide remains illegal, it is an advocacy priority to change such laws, as part of the process of challenging stigma, making it easier to talk about the issue, being able to accurately record cases of suicide, and reducing unnecessary additional suffering of families and survivors of attempted suicide.

It is a sad and shocking fact that suicide is the second most common cause of death in young people between 15 and 29 worldwide, and is the leading cause of death among young people in many European countries. In total, almost a million people die by suicide globally each year. It is estimated that for every person who dies by suicide, at least 25 attempt suicide. As well as being an awful situation for the person themselves, a suicide has a devastating effect on friends and family, and it is estimated that typically, over 100 people are effected by a single suicide.

Many people who self-harm do not intend to die, and there are many complex reasons why people do self-harm, but it is also the case that people who self-harm are more likely to go on to kill themselves by suicide, so this is an important warning sign, that should be taken seriously, and lead to support being provided.

Why do people seek to harm themselves, and what can we do to reduce suicide?
Of course suicide is strongly associated with mental ill health, and over half of people of people who die by suicide have a diagnosis of depression at the time of death. People with alcohol and drug problems, psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses are also more likely to self-harm and die by suicide. This means that good mental health services, systems to identify people who are distressed or depressed, and easy access to care are important elements for reducing suicide. Similarly, physical ill health (especially long-term, painful and disabling conditions, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs)) increases risk of suicide, so good care of physical health, as well as recognising a psychological component of such conditions is important.

Relationship problems, bereavement, unemployment, work or educational stress, economic hardship, loneliness, isolation and bullying (often online) increase risk of self-harm and suicide, particularly if they come together. Therefore, a comprehensive approach to addressing risk of suicide is important. The easier it is to access means of self-harm (guns, knives, toxic medicines etc.), the more likely people are to successfully kill themselves, so one of the most effective means of reducing suicide rates is to control access to such means of self-harm. Suicide is often carried out in particular moments of despair, which will almost always pass if a person is not able to find a means of harming themselves. One example is where simple measures to reduce easy access to pesticides, a particularly common cause of death among farmers in India, dramatically reduced suicide rates.

It usually helps to be able to talk to someone, and a listening ear, and supportive friendships can really help when people are feeling hopeless. We can all do what we can to support our own friends, or people we work with who are lonely or distressed, but we can also try to raise awareness of the issue, and advocate for more government and social action to implement the measures we know are effective. Suicide is an essential issue for mental health, and as such closely linked to Non-Communicable Diseases. The High Level Meeting on NCDs at the UN General Assembly is an opportunity to make sure that mental health and suicide are recognised, and we work together as a global health community to reduce the scourge of suicide that affects so many people.

Related links

Innovations:

  • RISING SUN (suicide prevention in the Arctic region) – http://bit.ly/2Np9ntY
  • Giving LIFE a chance – http://bit.ly/2NTie3Z
  • Pesticide Regulation for Suicide Prevention – http://bit.ly/2oIEToO

Toolkit:

  • RISING SUN has produced an online Toolkit on how to measure the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention in Indigenous groups. 5 levels of intervention a) Family b) Individual c) Clinic d) National/Regional e) Community – http://bit.ly/RISINGSUNTOOLKIT

Resources:

  • Suicide Prevention Webinar from Dr Saxena Shekhar, Director of WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse – http://bit.ly/2eO6ljx
  • WHO Suicide Prevention Factsheet, available in 6 languages including info on key facts, prevention & control & challenges – http://bit.ly/2oIyREG
  • WHO’s Community Engagement Toolkit – http://bit.ly/2oKVLv1

The HLPF is over, now what?

The High-level Political Forum took place from 9-18 July and focused on transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review included 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17. During the second week, 46 countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on SDG implementation. During these VNR presentations, persons with disabilities were included 36 times largely stemming from advocacy from various stakeholders at the global, regional, and national levels via the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities.

Alt="Our DPO partner, Mohammed Loutfy, speaking about persons with disabilities in Lebanon to Ghasan Hasbani Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health of Lebanon at the HLPF"

Our DPO partner, Mohammed Loutfy, speaking about persons with disabilities to Ghasan Hasbani Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health of Lebanon at the HLPF

 

The 36 references include references to persons with disabilities in VNR presentations, civil society presentations with questions to the government, and/or government responses to other government or civil society questions. The countries in bold are where CBM was directly or indirectly involved in advocacy. Thank you to everyone who helped in this process!

 

 

 

Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Niger, Palestine, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Now that the HLPF has concluded, it is important for DPOs and advocates to follow up with their government to assess outcomes and build partnerships at the national level. Not all countries have HLPF follow-up mechanisms in place, but it is important to remind political leaders that this is not a one-time obligation, but rather that this needs to be an ongoing permanent dialogue. The national follow-up mechanism should be a constructive approach to address issues raised in the global-level review process, or issues that have been left out. The following are some key points on how to initiate and participate in a follow-up process after the HLPF at the national level:

  • Watch your country’s voluntary national review on UN Web TV and in addition analyze the submissions (short and long) written reports (in some cases the reports differ from the presentations). On the basis of the analysis, prepare an advocacy paper highlighting issues that were addressed and also those left out.
  • Find out if there is a follow-up mechanism on the HLPF planned by your government.
  • (Re)connect with mainstream civil society coalitions to collaborate and propose to the government to establish a follow-up mechanism.
  • Contact and arrange meetings with the Ministry/Minister who presented at the HLPF with your advocacy paper prepared (refer above).
  • Advocate to establish synergies with other existing national follow-up or review mechanisms, such as national consultations on the SDG implementation plan, national development plan (often linked to the SDGs), and national human rights review mechanisms.
  • Propose a partnership to your government and consider engaging with the International Disability Alliance and International Disability and Development Consortium Partnership on SDGs.

These suggestions are from the CBM and International Disability Alliance Toolkit for DPOs on the Voluntary National Reviews.

Additional Information:

Resilient societies, the SDGs, and leaving no one behind

Resilient societies, the SDGs, and leaving no one behind

The High-level Political Forum took place from 9-18 July at the UN in New York with the theme of “transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The Goals under review included 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17. The first week of the Forum included numerous panels and round tables focused on the theme and the SDGs under review and the second week provided the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

On a very positive note for persons with disabilities and accessibility, Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, the UN’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility presented in the opening of the Forum. Her presentation focused on different areas, including accessibility. For example, she stated that if technology is not accessible, it will become one more barrier for millions of people throughout the world, such as, persons with disabilities, older persons and other sectors. In addition, persons with disabilities made up a large group at the Forum with 31 participants with disabilities and advocates from around the world as part of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities.

Alt="Participants of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities at HLPF 2018"

Participants of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities at HLPF 2018

CBM co-sponsored a side event the first week with the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities and others on Goal 11: Inclusion of persons with disabilities in societies. The event was very well attended with 70 attendees and had an interactive and lively dialogue.

During the second week, 46 countries presented their national reviews of SDG implementation. During these three Ministerial days of VNR presentations, persons with disabilities were included 36 times. In addition, some national videos included captions, one video (from Ireland) included a deaf child signing, and Namibia included a Namibian Sign Language interpreter on the screen for its entire video!

Also, six persons with disabilities presented official statements with questions to countries during their VNRs, including to Greece, Lebanon, Malta, Namibia, Niger, and Switzerland. One of our participants from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities presented questions to Namibia in International Sign, which was the first time this was done during a VNR at the UN.

Alt="Our DPO partner from Vietnam, Lan Anh, presented various times during the Forum"

Our DPO partner from Vietnam, Lan Anh, presented various times during the Forum

 

 

On 18 July, the 2018 HLPF Ministerial Declaration was adopted with three references to persons with disabilities: on disaggregated data (para 18), commitment to leave no one behind (para 11), and in WASH (para 23).

 

 

 

As the focal point on accessibility for the HLPF, long-term collaboration with the UN produced positive outcomes during the Forum, including:

  • Wheelchair users had access CR 4 on the ground floor and Trusteeship Council Chamber on the second floor for access to the presentations;
  • CART services were provided in person, online, and on webcast for all eight days of the HLPF;
  • Seating was reserved for persons with disabilities in all rooms being used;
  • The UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform was accessible;
  • Persons with disabilities and their personal assistants were able to register and obtain passes easily and personal assistants were not considered participants (when there was a maximum number permitted);
  • International Sign was provided for three days at the Ministerial Segment;
  • Documents and presentations were shared prior to events for CART providers and sign language interpreters;
  • The HLPF agenda and other documents were provided in Braille;
  • The UN set up an accessibility walk-through in advance of the HLPF;
  • The UN staff positively collaborated with us in various areas (room, technology, accessibility services, and interpretation).

A very big thanks to the UN for this work and positive collaboration that we hope continues and also continues to improve to ensure no one is left behind.