This gallery contains 2 photos.
>>Authored by Bobbi Gray, Research Director, Freedom from Hunger
First of all, a disclaimer. I am by no means a mental health expert. Like many, I’ve had my own experiences which have led to interests into the causes and impacts of mental health issues as well as the coping mechanisms we might use when we or someone we know suffers from a mental illness.
It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, as you might know, and it has reminded me of a conversation that Josh Goldstein, vice president of economic citizenship and disability inclusion at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, and I started a while back. A conversation that also led to an exchange of ideas on his blog post “4 interventions to help victims of trauma find hope and dignity” in which he summarized his remarks at the 8th Annual PCAF Pan-African Psychotrauma Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya. (Josh’s full conference remarks can be found here.) During this conference, Josh tried to answer the question of whether microfinance institutions (MFIs) can help victims of trauma who suffer from mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to find hope and dignity through self-employment.
In his post, Josh suggests steps to be taken by our sector to be inclusive of those suffering from mental health disorders. In this post, I’ll address two of those steps:
- More linkages between mental health providers and MFIs can take place such that people have access to financial services and business and financial training.
- Create a set of global standards and indicators for MFIs and other financial service providers to follow that will establish the importance of and offer guidance on serving PTSD survivors and other persons with psycho-social disabilities.