UNCRPD: What is a psychosocial model of disability?

UNCRPD: What is a psychosocial model of disability?


[Music] Let’s have a closer look at… What the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the UN CRPD – means for people with psychosocial disabilities. The UN CRPD is a human rights treaty for
persons with disabilities. This binding United Nations document was signed and ratified by all the EU Member States and the EU itself. The UN CRPD has changed
the way we understand disability including psychosocial disability. This important change is referred to as a “paradigm shift” – a transition from a biomedical model to a psychosocial model of disability. The biomedical model
frames psychosocial disability as an illness that needs to be cured.
Biomedical factors and genetic predisposition are seen as the underlying
causes. The psychosocial model frames psychosocial disability as a human experience. With this model, the psychosocial disability is a long-term mental health problem which, when combined with barriers in society,
becomes disabling. Remember Victor and Amy? Amy and Victor a great people who happen to have psychosocial disabilities. They both have rights which the UN CRPD
protects and promotes. Victor and Amy spent a few years living in a hospital where their long-term mental health problems were treated as a medical
condition. They were told to take medications and talk to therapists to treat their impairment. They felt they had little control over their lives nor a plan for the future. Victor and Amy wanted to change this
situation, get off medications, leave the hospital and live a meaningful life. They made a recovery plan with the support of their peers families and doctors who favor a psychosocial approach to mental health problems. Their recovery plan did not focus on fixing the problems but on identifying the
factors that caused them in order to adequately address them. Amy and Victor have now left the hospital. They found meaningful employment and enjoy their life in the community. Amy still takes medications and sees her recovery process as an ongoing journey that might last her lifetime. Victor is off medications. He sees his recovery process as an end point and
considers himself recovered. They continue meeting with their peer support network to share their experiences and to provide support to others. The UNCRPD calls for a change in the way we understand disabilities. People with psychosocial disabilities are not objects to be cured or isolated. People with psychosocial disabilities are people with support needs that stem from a
variety of life experiences and might change over time. People with psychosocial disabilities are subjects of rights, capable to make their own
decisions and contribute to society. Find out more about the UNCRPD and
psychosocial disability at www.mhe-sme.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *