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Empowerment, peer support and fight against the stigma that exists towards women and men with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico.

Empower people with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico so they can live in an integrated way to the community.

Photo of Raul Montoya
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

People with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico are discriminated against in various aspects of life, sometimes we are forced to be institutionalize in psychiatric hospitals in which our human rights are violated. For this reason, the Collective Chuhcan A.C., the first organization in Mexico that is totally managed by people with a psychosocial disability, emerges, in the Chuhcan Collective we give peer support to people in this condition and their families, we empower our members so that they recover their life in the community, as indicated in articles 19, of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). By giving peer support and empowering our members, we help them regain their life in the community, as we help them get a decent and well-paid job, giving them the tools that have been useful to us. We attend small radio, TV and written media programs such as newspapers and magazines, to talk about psychosocial disability and thus fight against the stigma that prevails against this condition. We fight to become activists who defend their rights based on the CRPD, we work with the government to create public policies in favor of people with this disability, we attend universities to share our experience and work and be spokespersons for people in this condition, I as the Executive Director of the organization, have talked in an international level, in US universities and in 2014 I had the opportunity to speak at the UN of Geneva Switzerland as a representative of all persons with this disability in Mexico, to present, together with other civil society organizations in Mexico, a shadow report on how the Mexican government had harmonized the CRPD in Mexican laws, the the Chuhcan Collective together with another organization called DRI (Disability Rights International), we present the report on Sexual and Reproductive Rights to Women with Psychosocial Disabilities in Mexico.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

We work in Mexico City, since it is the place where we reside, but in the future we plan to take it all over the country, since people with psychosocial disabilities have been violated their human rights in psychiatric hospitals where the UN has arrived To consider as cruel and inhuman treatment, this population has been very stigmatized and discriminated against because of ignorance and of what it really means to live with a psychosocial disability.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

People with psychosocial disabilities can and should live integrated into the community, be empowered to live a full and satisfying life with dreams, goals and achievements like any person within the community, people who are held in dangerous institutions must be empowered to live in an integrated way to the community and not to remain for life in these places that far from improving, their condition worsens, that is why we will fight to achieve empowerment.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

The rights of people with psychosocial disabilities are violated by being held in psychiatric hospitals that far from improving their condition, by staying for a long time in these places, instead of recovering, they get worse, that is why we must empower and give peer help To these people, and what better do people who have lived this condition and who have been able to recover and recover our lives within our communities, we use our experience to help understand and overcome the adverse conditions that come with living with this Disability, likewise, women in this condition experience double discrimination, because by the simple fact of being women they are discriminated against and being women with psychosocial disability is a double discrimination, for this reason there is a committee of women in the organization, with this disability which they meet every fifteen days to talk about their rights and how to empower themselves.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The impact it will produce and is producing is that people with psychosocial disabilities can recover their life in the community, get a stable job and be reintegrated into society, instead of living in seclusion or segregation in psychiatric institutions, and instead becoming into productive persons, social and accomplished people, the way of knowing that we are creating a positive change, we are already seeing it, since there are several former members of the organization that no longer attend with us this since they have managed to get a fixed, well-paid job and satisfactory with which they lead a fuller and more productive life, instead of being passive, segregated and inactive for society, being the main actors for the development of our country, since previously not being empowered they did not participate in the productive life of the community, being economically dependent on both, the state and their families, and now becoming an important part of economic development.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

The inspiration of our idea is that people with psychosocial disabilities, like us, have been stigmatized and discriminated against for a long time and if we manage to be able to recover, we believe that other people in the same situation can also get it, as well as make people with psychosocial disabilities can be independent and productive to society, instead of living either locked up in a psychiatric hospital living a wasted existence depending on the money of the state and taxpayers or with their families hidden and inactive working mind, in Instead, be financially independent, maybe get a partner, work and why not, start a family like any other citizen in the community. If the vast majority of us have succeeded, we do not see why it may not be possible for many more people that we know exist and are totally invisible because of the ignorance of many people, that´s the way we see it at the Chuhcan Collective.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The community we intend to serve is people with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico City, in Mexico City, we have found that people with psychosocial disabilities live in very bad conditions and are not provided adequate care for these people to be reintegrated into the community, as indicated in article 19 of the UN CRPD. Our organization is the first in Mexico that is totally managed by people with a psychosocial disability that we have empowered to defend our rights based on this convention, we also give peer support so that people who live or have lived a similar experience can recover their lives in the community and not be segregated in dangerous institutions, in addition people with psychosocial disabilities have historically been discriminated against and stigmatized, since many people think that we are aggressive or murderers, this due to lack of information and ignorance that exist in our society, and we´re no better or worst that any other person in the community.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

In recent years in Mexico there has been an increase in civil associations that fight to defend people with disabilities, in fact we have strategic alliances with other civil society organizations that are also interested in defending, protecting and influencing public policies. in favor of people with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico. Also in universities, students have shown interest in knowing and defending the rights of people with this disability, we have gone to these places since we firmly believe that students are the future leaders of our society and if they have the training and rights perspective human beings from their stage as students it is easier than when they are professionals to have the vision of human rights, since we have encountered some resistance with people who are already trained and who are occupying key positions within society, but we have also discovered many allies that believe that persons like us are as valuable as any other person in the community.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

The ones who run the organization are three people, Maria Isabel Cancino Licona (Assistant Director), Ricardo Sánchez Aguilar (Executive Assistant) and Raúl Montoya Santamaría (Executive Director), but the organization has thirty members, and we work together with several organizations of civil society in Mexico City such as: OSF (Open Society Foundations), DRI (Disability Rights International), The CELS of Argentina (Center for Legal and Social Studies), Documenta AC, the PUDH (University Rights Program Humans), CDHDF (Human Rights Commission of the Federal District), CEVAREPSI (Manly Center for Psychosocial Recovery, which is an annex of the South Prison where the inmates who committed an illicit and who have a psychosocial disability remain), CEAV (Commission Victim Attention Executive), Without Collective. We also plan to have new alliances in the future not only in Mexico but in other countries.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Other

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Full Scale Roll Out: We have already tested and scaled this idea significantly with the intended user base (i.e. when innovation has reached 84% or above of the target population or above 1,000,000 users).

Group or Organization Name

Colectivo Chuhcan A.C.

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

We are the first organization in Mexico totally managed by people with a psychosocial disability, we base our work on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, mainly on articles 12, which speaks of our legal capacity and article 19 of this convention which speaks of our right to live integrated into our community and not be held in dangerous institutions that threaten our human rights, we fight to become activists who defend their rights based on the UN CRPD, we work to create reasonable adjustments so that people with this disability can compete on equal terms as other people both in the workplace and student and thus balance the balance. We raise our voices on behalf of people living with this disability and fight against the stigma that prevails against people living with this condition, we work with the goverment to create public policies in favor of persons with psychosotial disabilities in our country.

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

México City


Join the conversation:

Photo of Uchenna Okafor

Hi Raul Montoya! It is rare to find solutions aimed at disabled persons. Yes; disability is almost same as poverty, illiteracy, destitution, unemployment, lack of human dignity, among others. So, superlative thanks for this great feat. However, could you extend this design to accommodate the blind, deaf, dumb, lame, etc?

Photo of Raul Montoya

Hi Uchenna Okafor, it would be great to be able to attend to all types and disabilities, but as our organization is the first in Mexico that is totally managed by people with psychosocial disabilities, that is why our expertise is in this specific disability class and is That is why we do it for this specific population.

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