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Can society make disabilities and difficulties worse?

Posted January 17th 2017 by Alice

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One Scotland recently published their new Delivery Plan for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The plan explains that the Scottish Government use the social model of disability. The social model describes disability as a barrier created by society. The report explains that negative attitudes towards disabled people created barriers and these barriers are what truly makes someone feel disabled. The report suggests that by removing these barriers we can reduce, or even remove, the things that cause someone to feel different and separate from other people in their community.

This idea can be applied to a lot of different groups. If people are accepted by their communities then, it stands to reason any difficulties they experience could have less of an impact on their lives as they have the support of people around them.

One of our projects which uses this perspective is the Angus McFlourish project. In the project we are working with Angus Voice, a mental health advocacy group, planning activities for the group to do throughout the year to reduce social isolation and loneliness. From speaking with people with mental health difficulties, we know that feeling isolated and cut off from society can make mental health problems worse. It is important to have time to yourself but it’s also good to know you have the option of seeing people and doing different activities if you choose to.

In the Angus McFlourish project we will be putting together tips on preventing isolation and loneliness and also compiling a list of organisations and businesses which are ‘mental heath friendly’. When people from Angus Voice visit these organisations they will know they are welcome without having to feel worried and perhaps make their mental health difficulties worse.

We hope that through the Angus McFlourish project, and others like it, there will be more places, groups and communities where barriers are reduced and people will know they are accepted for who they are.

To find out more about the activities the Angus McFlourish project are arranging follow them on twitter and Facebook.

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