In June 2019, Botswana's High Court legalised homosexuality in a landmark ruling. However, LGBTQ+ people still face high levels of discrimination and injustice.
Within this context, Open Hands supports and advocates for the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ communities. The project runs self-care groups, makes referrals to specialist services and raises awareness of mental health issues amongst this community. Their parent organisation, Friends of Diversity, works more broadly to support Botswana's LGBTQ+ communities through outreach and practical support.
While Friends of Diversity have been conducting LGBTQ advocacy for some time, the mental health element of their work being delivered through the Open Hands project is relatively new.
Part of their challenge for the partnership between Open Hands and Ember is to strengthen and refine their model.
A volunteer-driven system of outreach, home visits, training and referrals to meet community mental health needs and raise awareness
Breaking cycles of violence in post-conflict settings through creative therapies and workshops
A community based organisation working to improve mental health provision in rural and impoverished areas of Uttarakhand