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interview to Janet Amegatcher

29 August 2023,@interviewer: Kasumi ITO@at house of Janet Amegatcher

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Kasumi Ito
Yeah, firstly, I want to know how do you get involved in the movement?

Janet Amegatcher
Alright. My name is Janet Amegatcher, as you may well know. What happened was that before the year 2000, in the year 1998, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was around October. In 1999, February, I had the surgery, so I was in the hospital. When I came from the hospital and got home, I was alone, because my husband had to go to work. And I was sick. I got on the internet. At that time, internet hadn't come very much. It was now starting. In fact, it was a dial up. Itfs not like now. So, it was a dial up and when you start, it will be doing cringgggg for a long time, before it finally connects. Alright. I got on the internet. And then I was looking for any group that I could connect with.

At that time, there were times that I wasn't very sure of what was happening to me, like, I was maybe a bit depressed. When I got on the internet, I found a group. they were discussing issues about mental health. I think I wrote to that group. I said, gOh, I'm interested in the discussions they were having.h Okay, so one person replied. One person replied and said, gOkay, it will be good for you to join the group instead of just writing. If you just write, it means you are not a member of the group. But if you join the group, then if we have to send messages, we can send the message to you.h

I agreed, and I joined the group. They started sending me messages. And I saw that it was a discussion about mental health. And it was going on. It was very helpful. Sometimes things that you are going through that you don't understand. We had discussions and I was enjoying it. And then, in 2003, they sent me a message that they are planning to have a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. And since I've been interested in mental health, and I've been on their group, they've been circulating messages to me, though, they want to invite me to come to the conference. And they asked me whether it will be okay with me. I said, yes. They asked me to give them my postal address so that they will send me a form to fill for them.

I said, okay. I sent them the postal address. And then when I went to the post office, they had sent me three invitations. They said, I can get two people to add to me so that we can come. But we should first fill the form. It was a booklet. We should fill it, and then send it to them. And then they would respond. I said, okay. I got two people. And I gave it to them. One person filled it, but the other person didn't fill it. She just left it. The other person filled it, then I added it to mine. And then we posted it to the address that was given.

so when we posted it, they started communicating to us that the conference will be, I think, in July 2004 ? either June or July 2004. The group that was organizing it was called World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. I said, okay. The time came, and then we went to Copenhagen together. We went to Copenhagen and then joined the conference. I think it was for 1 week.

At that conference, they had apparently invited other people from different parts in Africa. They had realized we did not have mental health organizations in Africa. It's most of the time in US and Europe. But they were thinking that Africa also needed to have those groups, mental health organizations so that it will be a support for people going through mental health problems. At a point during the conference, they said, all those from the US can group together, those from Europe can group together. And then they also ask that all those from Africa can also group together. I think at that time, there were some people from South Africa. There were some people from, I think, Zambia. Then, there were some people from Kenya and then Uganda. And we were not many, I think, about six or seven countries.

What they suggested was that we should form an organization for Africa. We called it Pan African Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, PANUSP. Yes. That was the time we formed PANUSP. When we formed the PANUSP, then now we needed the chair of PANUSP. They asked us to vote. So, when we voted, then I became the Chair, yes, the first Chair of PANUSP. That means then we went back to the big meeting, all the groups came together. Just before we ended the conference, they decided that I had to join some people in August to go to the US, also, for IDA meeting, International Disability Alliance. So, since I was the Chair of PANUSP, they wanted me to be the representative to go with them for the meeting. In August, we went for the IDA meeting.

the groups from Africa were encouraged to start mental health organizations in our various countries. that was to support people going through mental health illnesses or challenges.

Kasumi Ito

Janet Amegatcher
Tina Minkowitz sent me an email. At that time, I think she was a co-chair for WNUSP. That's right. She sent me an email. And she said, somebody in Ghana had sent a letter to another person in Scotland, I think, Morgan Graham. Morgan Graham was in Scotland. She said somebody had sent a message from Ghana to Morgan. Morgan had reached out to her to find out if she knew the person, but she didn't know the person. And she said, gOh, well, I'm the contact person in Ghana for mental health issues,h so she would connect with me to find the person who sent the letter. She sent me the person's telephone number. I called. When I called, it was Dan Taylor. I arranged to have a meeting with Dan. When he came, he was with Nii Lartey Addico. When they came, then we discussed, and apparently, they were also interested in finding someone that together we can form the mental health organization. I said, gOkay, that's fine,h because that was what I was asked to do when we went to the conference. That was how we started MindFreedom Ghana.
We were then encouraging one another through emails. But we didn't have funding. We couldn't have conferences. But I think there was one time that I think somebody was able to raise some funds. Yes. So, a conference was organized in ? okay, was it a conference ? a workshop. A workshop was organized in South Africa. We're able to meet together, and I think deliberate on issues, how things have gone, and what was happening. But with PANUSP, the problem was, where and how to register. And we didn't have any money. So, which money do we use to register?

And then also, apart from the registration, which country, because we are all in different countries, so which country can allow us to register this without having problems? So, a lot of us tried, but it wasn't easy. Because it wasn't physically in the country. We were always discussing it, but we couldn't register. So, that was one of the problems of PANUSP. I think at a point, some people thought we should change the name. It was changed from PANUSP to PANPPD, Pan African Network of Persons with Psychosocial Disability, so PANPPD. That is the new name for PANUSP.

Yes, then with World Network, apart from the conference that we had in Denmark, I think there was a time also that someone was also able to raise some funds. And then a conference was organized in Uganda. We went to Uganda for that. Was it Uganda? Yeah, I think so. We went to Uganda for a second conference. Yes. And it was also well attended. In fact, the first one was very well attended. Because I think there was a lot of funds. The second one, I think the fund was not so much. So, it wasn't so well attended like the first one. But we still had a meeting. We were hoping that soon we were going to have the next conference. But it didn't happen because the funds werenft coming. And World Network itself didn't have funds. We didn't have any sponsors.

And most of us were either not working or working, but not really on a high salary for us to be paying dues so we werenft paying any dues. And it was difficult to finance the organization without fund. So, everything came to a standstill. And it was just
Janet Amegatcher
Daniel Iga, yes. Daniel Iga sent some emails to Tina to me, and to a few people and was asking, gWhat are we doing? We have to revive the WNUSP.h Yes, yes. So, that's where the discussions are now, what to do to revive the WNUSP? That's right.

Kasumi Ito
Ifm happy to hear that. Thank you so much.

Janet Amegatcher
Then, PANUSP, I think we had a conference also in South Africa. We had elections. So, a new set of people were elected for the various positions. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. I go back to first. You became a lawyer before you got sick?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, yes. I became a lawyer in 1995. But I became sick in 1998.

Kasumi Ito
So, that was time. At that time, you worked as a lawyer?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes.

Kasumi Ito
First organization you found on the internet was World Network?

Janet Amegatcher
It was just a group that was discussing mental health. I think what I did was, I typed mental health. And that group popped up. I click on it. It didn't have a name. But it was like friends who have ? they send emails together. So, let's say, about 20 people, If you send an email, it goes to all the 20 people. But it didn't have a name. But it was later that I got to know that they were members. I think some of them were members of the WNUSP. That was why they were inviting me to come to the conference.

Kasumi Ito
At that time, there was no groups in Ghana?

Janet Amegatcher
I think there was a group called Basic Needs. But I didnft know that.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. At the conference in 2004, you went to Denmark?

Janet Amegatcher
Denmark.

Kasumi Ito
Yes, and then for the establishment of PANUSPc

Janet Amegatcher
Thatfs right.

Kasumi Ito
cyou went to Uganda.

Janet Amegatcher
That was the second World Network Conference. I think the first conference was in 2004. I think the second conference was in 2008. Yes, I think it was 2008.

Kasumi Ito
When was the first conference of PANUSP?

Janet Amegatcher
PANUSP, that was in 2010.

Kasumi Ito
In where?

Janet Amegatcher
In South Africa.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. At that election, you became a chair?

Janet Amegatcher
No, no, no. The one that I became chair was in 2004 at Denmark.

Kasumi Ito
That conference was held in Denmark?

Janet Amegatcher
In Denmark.

Kasumi Ito
Okay.

Janet Amegatcher
Thatfs right. It was because the World Network was having the meeting, and we were there. We took the opportunity to have our first meeting. Yes.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. What was your main work as a Chair?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, it was to communicate with the other members and to see if they were ? we were all asked to go and start organization in our countries. So to check if we have been able to do that, and how it was going. We were encouraging one another. Yes, yes.Kasumi Ito
At that time, you didn't work as a lawyer?

Janet Amegatcher
At that time, I was still working as a lawyer. But I wasn't going to court every day. I was sometimes going to court; sometimes, I was in the office. So, that was when Dan and Nii came to see me at my office.

Kasumi Ito
Office is not here.

Janet Amegatcher
No, no, no. This is the house. I had an office somewhere. So, they came to the office to come and see me. So, that was how we started MindFreedom Ghana.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. You mentioned registration. Finally which country?

Janet Amegatcher
All right. In fact, right now, we have someone who has been trying to register it in Malawi for us. It has taken a long time. Because, one, we don't have the money and then because of the various countries that are involved. But Malawi, I think, they spoke to the people, the officials, and they understood. They said they will do the registration for us.

Kasumi Ito
But it has not yet been registered?

Janet Amegatcher
Well, at a point, they said, it was almost done. I think that was even last year. Last year, they said it was almost done, but haven't had any news about it again. Maybe, itfs done.

Kasumi Ito
Before you registered, how do you use money, because you cannot open bank account?

Janet Amegatcher
We couldn't open bank account. Because before you can open bank account, you have to register. And because we hadn't registered, we didn't have any bank account. That was one of the problems. Anything you do, you need money to do it. So, that was a big problem. The only thing we could do was to email because you're not spending too much money on it. You do email and then if you have to discuss something, you discuss it by email but conferences were difficult.

Kasumi Ito
Yes, okay.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes.

Kasumi Ito
At the time when you went to Denmark. The communication was not emailed but letter, physical letter?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. They sent the form by physical letter. Yes, yes. I'm sure right now that form can just be sent by email. So, you just downloaded it, fill it, and you scan it and send. But at that time, we couldn't do it that way. They sent it by physical letter. And then we also had to send it by physical letter. That was almost 20 years ago; 2003; 2004.

Kasumi Ito
Situation has so much changed.

Janet Amegatcher
That's right.

Kasumi Ito
How about conference in Uganda?

Janet Amegatcher
Uganda?

Kasumi Ito
Yes.

Janet Amegatcher
Okay. I heard there was sponsor, who gave some money. I'm sure it was maybe a member of the WNUSP. Yes. I think the person sponsored the conference. They invited us to go, but that one, I think, because they had my details already. They didnft send a physical letter. So, that one, it was just by email. and then telling all the members that this is the arrangement, the time, and then I think they did the booking for the flight and everything. When you get your ticket, then you just

Kasumi Ito
Okay.

Janet Amegatcher
That's right.

Kasumi Ito
Were you a board member of World Network?

Janet Amegatcher
Word Network?

Kasumi Ito
Yes.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. Because I was invited to the 2004 Conference. I became a member.

Kasumi Ito
Yes. Board member.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. I was a board member. That's right. I was a board member.

Kasumi Ito
There was a voting, election?

Janet Amegatcher
Election, yes. There was a voting.

Kasumi Ito
From 2004 to 2008, you were a board member of WNUSPc

Janet Amegatcher
Yes.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. What did you do as a board member?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, okay. Well, sometimes, we had board meetings on the internet. Because we couldn't meet physically there was no money for us to actually fly to, let's say, US or Europe to have the meeting. We were having the meeting on the internet. I think sometimes we were using Zoom. And sometimes we were using Skype. And we were having discussions and trying to take decisions. Maybe, if there's a problem that has come up with discussions that we find out what do you thinkthat we all come to a conclusion as to what to do? Yes, yes. So, that was basically what we were doing. Yes, yes.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. How often do you have?

Janet Amegatcher
The board meeting?

Kasumi Ito
Yes.

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, I think it was like once in 6 months. It wasn't frequent. Because the organization itself wasn't so busy. Maybe, if it had been very busy, then maybe we'll have more meetings. And at that time, sometimes you have to use the phone to call. And when you call, especially like, let's say, from Ghana or any part in Africa, when you call into the meeting, within a short time, your bill will be so high. So, you can't join. Sometimes you can only join for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and then you can't join again. You see, because we didn't have these phones. At that time, you have that telephone that you pick up.

I remember, there was even a time I had to go to my mother's place to use her telephone, and I called. When I called and I was on the meeting, then my mother said, hey, my bill is going to be high. I said, okay, then I put it down. But when the bill came, I didn't even use it for a long time. I think I used it for maybe 10 to 15 minutes. When the bill came, it was very high. She called me. She said, your bill has come. So anyway, I paid that bill for her. So, it wasn't something that you could always do.

Kasumi Ito
It was an international call?

Janet Amegatcher
Aa-haa.

Kasumi Ito
It must bec

Janet Amegatcher
Thatfs right.

Kasumi Ito
cvery expensive.

Janet Amegatcher
Very expensive, very expensive. We weren't always having those meetings. It was difficult.

Kasumi Ito
Yes. You pay such money from your pocket? Okay. The conference you participated in US was which year you participatedc

Janet Amegatcher
Which one?

Kasumi Ito
cin the US, IDA meeting?

Janet Amegatcher
Okay. The IDA meeting was, I think, every 6 months. Okay, so I started attending in August 2004 and then I think December 2004.

Kasumi Ito
December 2004. Okay,

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. And then I think August 2005. And then it was twice in a year. No, no, okay. I'm forgetting because when we went for the ? I was also to join them to go to the UN because the UN was preparing the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I had to start attending that one too. Okay, so I think what happened was the IDA meetings were in June, and then the UN meetings were in August. The UN meetings were in August and then sometimes in December, so I was always going up and down. That's right. I don't remember the dates now. It kept me very busy.

Kasumi Ito
You went to IDA meeting as a member of the IDA?

Janet Amegatcher
IDA because I was a member of WNUSP.

Kasumi Ito
Yeah, Chair of the WNUSP.

Janet Amegatcher
No, I wasn't Chair of the WNUSP. I was chair of PANUSP, but because I was a board member of WNUSP. That was how come I was on the IDA.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. You went to IDA conference with othersc?

Janet Amegatcher
The IDA. It was just a meeting, not a big conference. It was a small meeting, maybe, about 20 people. And it wasn't only on mental health. It was on different disabilities. They were thinking about what was going on in the disability community. We were there for WNUSP, Tina Minkowitz and me. We were there for WNUSP. And then there were other people, people with hearing aid, people with eye problem, people with different, different disabilities. Some people were in wheelchair, but they were all part of the disability movement. They were there.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. You also participated in CRPD drafting?

Janet Amegatcher
That's right. What happened was since the IDA was for different disabilities, when we discuss it, so when we go, we represent all the disability community. In fact, I think, all the members of the IDA attended, participated in the drafting of the UN CRPD.

Kasumi Ito
Yes. Did IDA support MindFreedom Ghana?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. IDA supports it. In fact, it was IDA that was paying for us to come over and then we go to the UN meetings.

Kasumi Ito
You participated all conference of drafting? I think there was about eight conferences.

Janet Amegatcher
Yeah. I think they had attended maybe one already before I joined WNUSP. When I joined in 2004, then I started from that time.

Kasumi Ito
I would go back to Ghana.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes.

Kasumi Ito
How do you make organization? Like how do you find office, mobilize people?

Janet Amegatcher
Okay, right. What MindFreedom Ghana did from the beginning was, at first, we didn't have an office. We started on a small note. We started talking to people. And then I think we sent out proposals. Initially, we had to support the organization ourselves, like me and Dan Taylor and Nii Lartey Addico, we had to support the organization ourselves with our own money. Our family will be supporting us, helping us to do various programs. If there's a program that we want to do, then we contribute, and go and do it. After some time, after we had done it for some time, then we now have to register. We had to tell people what we had been doing. And the fact that we wanted to do more of the programs. They saw that what we were doing was good. And then they registered the organization.

We had sponsor. We had someone to sponsor ? supporters. I think we've had different, different sponsors. We've had Disability Rights. They have sponsored us. We had AWDF ? African Woman Development Fundc

Janet Amegatcher
They sponsored us once. And then, we had other people, but most of the time, we don't get sponsors from Ghana. We usually get sponsors from outside like OSIWA, Open Society. I think initially, we applied to Open Society International. And then later, they said, we have to connect to OSIWA, that is, open society in West Africa. OSIWA has been supporting us. So, that is how we get the funding to support the office and also to do our various programs and projects. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
Soon after you applied fundingc?

Janet Amegatcher
Pardon me.

Kasumi Ito
How long does it take to find the first funding?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, it's not fast. It's slow.

Kasumi Ito
Okay.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. And sometimes, you applied, okay. You wait, wait, and then later they will say sorry, but sometimes when they send out the letter that you can apply, then you apply, sometimes within, let's say, 6 months, they agree to finance. Yes. I think at most about 6 months. Yes.

Kasumi Ito
When did you get the first office of MindFreedom?

Janet Amegatcher
The first office we got was in, I think, 2005.

Kasumi Ito
The year, you established MindFreedom Ghana was 2004, a year later?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. One year later, but that was when we did the registration also, because we were going to do the registration. We needed the office. So, in 2005, we got the office and then we were able to register. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
Did you go to office everyday?

Janet Amegatcher
I used to go to office everyday. But now, I don't go to office every day. Now, if we have meetings, and it's necessary, or sometimes I need to sign some documents, if I need to go there. Otherwise, sometimes they bring their documents, I read through, and then I sign here. Yes. So I most of the time work from home. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
In the beginning of the MindFreedom Ghana, what was your usual work?

Janet Amegatcher
In the beginning, the first thing that we needed to deal with was stigma, stigma for people who are living with mental illness. So, a lot of things that we were doing was to plan how to educate people in the community about mental health illness so that we stop the stigma. The stigmatization is still a lot. But at that time, it was really very bad. So, most of the time, we were meeting and planning, finding what we can do, programs and projects to be able to stop the stigma. Okay, then, apart from going to the communities to educate, sometimes we were doing it in the marketplace. Sometimes, we would get maybe an open space, and sometimes we also get maybe an event place, and then invite people there, and then have a workshop and talk to them about mental illness. And then the need to stop the stigma.

Initially, that was one of the things we were doing. And then also, what we realized we needed to do was to educate people also on the UN CRPD. Yes. And even when it was passed, we needed to let our government ratify so that it will become a law in Ghana. We were also lobbying the government on that. And then yes, we brought a petition, also to the government on that. Then also, we did street marches. That was part of the campaign against stigma. Apart from the education, we had streets marches, stop their stigma. We had our placards. And then we wrote on it, stop the stigma against people with mental illness. Those were some of the things that initially we were doing a lot. These days, we don't do streets marches, when we don't have the money for it. So, we stopped streets matches, but we are still going to the communities to do education.

Kasumi Ito
When you went to community to educate people, people welcome to you?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, yes, yes, people will come to us. And normally, if you go to a community, you have to go and see the chief and then the elders, that oh, this is a group from, maybe Accra, this is what we do, so want to come and talk to the people in the area about this. And when they see that they are very happy, because they see that, oh, yes, yes, itfs true. When people have mental illness, they are always being chained, locked up, and they have been treated like they are animals. So, most of the time, people are happy that we were doing that kind of work.

Kasumi Ito
I think at that time Mental Health Act was revised.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, it was revised, I think, in ? I forgotten which year but not too long ago, maybe about 4 or 5 years ago. Yeah, let me check. I think.

Kasumi Ito
I think 2012.

Janet Amegatcher
2012, yes, I think so. Yes. Also, that's about 11 years ago.

Kasumi Ito
Yeah. I want to know how were you involved in that revise?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, they asked us for our opinions. They asked us for our opinions, so we gave our opinion. Sometimes, there were meetings and then, though, maybe discuss something, then whatever opinion you have, then you will share. There were, I think, various meetings.

Kasumi Ito
Meeting with who?

Janet Amegatcher
Meeting with those who were working on it. There were some doctors. There werec

Kasumi Ito
Doctors mean psychiatrist?

Janet Amegatcher
Psychiatrist, yes, yes. There were some psychiatrists that were there. Yes, it was 2012, aimed to create a new system of mental health care in Ghana. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
What was the main point of MindFreedom Ghana in the revision of the Mental Health Act?

Janet Amegatcher
We felt that probably can help in the way people with mental health issues are treated. So, that was our view. And that was how we took part. So that we can support in any way that there was the need. We were also hoping that the new Act would also think about human rights, the human rights of the people living with psychosocial disability so that they will not be mistreated, misjudged and treated like sub-humans. So, that was our aim and our point in participating in the discussions.

Kasumi Ito
Did the psychiatrists agree with your point?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, yes, they agreed. They agreed.

Kasumi Ito
Also, person in ministry?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, actually, we didn't ? nobody really said anything negative. They all agree that they are human beings, they have to be treated well. But it's just that when person is actually not well and goes to the hospital and maybe the person is a bit violent, that way, maybe, the way the person is treated, violates the person's rights a bit. And sometimes to actually, especially during those meetings, what came up was that the psychiatrist was saying that, they don't mishandle their patients, but when they are taken to other places, sometimes, in ? I don't know whether it happens in Japan.

But in Ghana, a lot of times people think that when you have psychosocial disability, it is a curse, or it's a spiritual problem. A lot of times they are taken to maybe either a shrine or a church. When they are taken to the shrine or to the church, that is where some people think that demons in the person. So, they have to flog you so that the demons will come out. That is what some people think. And then when the people are also violent, they think is the demons that's causing them to do that. So, they have to be chained on their hand and legs chained, and then sometimes they are chained to a tree outside; when it is raining, the person is sitting there; when the sun is shining, the person is sitting. When the person is hungry, the person is not free to go and get some food, maybe, they'll just come and put some food there as if the person is a dog, excuse me to say, you see.

Those were the kinds of things. Those ones, psychiatrists and the nurses who were in the meetings also agreed that it's wrong. And they all felt the new Mental Health Act will have to address it so that it will be stopped. It was like we all really agreed. We all agreed with the human rights of the people with mental health issues. Yeah.

Kasumi Ito
After the law came, people go to hospital?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. In fact, what happened was, there was a lot of education that went on in those places where people normally take patients who have mental health challenges. Those people were also educated. I remember I was speaking to somebody from who has one of those centres. And she said they've been told that if they bring mental health patients and they chain them, they will be imprisoned. She was telling me that they have been told, so now, they don't want any trouble. They don't chain anybody there. So, it means they had been educated. And they had understood it that the chaining will have to be stopped. And also, some community nurses were going around to those places. So that if there is a patient who needs, let's say, some medicine or some injection, they administer the medication, and then the people over there too can pray for the person. So, there was like a partnership between the nurses and people at the center. After the new Mental Health Act, there've been some changes.

Kasumi Ito
Do you mean it is illegal to chain people?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, now, it is illegal. Yes. And those people who were chaining them had been educated. They've been told so they now understand it. So, if your family bring you there, and they think you are violent, and they have to chain you, then they will just tell your relatives that maybe they should take you to the hospital so that they give you medicine to calm you down. And then when they calm you down, they can bring you to do their prayers for you. So, there've been some changes.

Kasumi Ito
It is mentioned in Mental Health Act? If people chain mental health patients, he or she has to go to prison is mentioned?

Janet Amegatcher
No, I don't think it is mentioned. But I think they mentioned that ? they talked about the human rights. I think various people who went around to do the education told them that because it is against human rights, if you do it, then a lawyer can say that they should take you to prison. I think that's how they understood it. That also helped them to change their attitude.

Kasumi Ito
People have to pay when they take patient to shrine orc?

Janet Amegatcher
Those places?

Kasumi Ito
Yeah.

Janet Amegatcher
For some of them, they will tell you, you don't have to pay for their prayers that they're praying for you. But like, when they pray for you, and you are healed, then you can come in, give some offering, some donation. So, sometimes that's what they do. But I think for some places, when you go there, you have to pay because maybe they'll give you ? they have rooms. And they have to give you a room to sleep in. So, you have to pay so that they'll give you the room. So, it's like going to a hotel or going to a guest house. Because the room will have lights, a bed, and you have taken the space. You pay for that. But you are not paying for the prayers. So, there's a difference. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
Do people have to pay when they go to hospital?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, yes. They have to pay when they go to the hospital. They have to pay for the medication. Yes. And sometimes some people say the medication is expensive. So, that's why they don't want to go to the hospital, and they want to go to these other places for prayers.

Kasumi Ito
Is there traditional medication here?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, I think some people have traditional medicine. But I don't know much about that one.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. Is there any board meeting of MindFreedom Ghana?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, yes. We have a board. We have a board for MindFreedom. But these days, we don't have money. So, we don't often have board meetings. Yeah, the last board meeting we had was in December. This year, for instance, we haven't had any board meeting because there's no money. The little money we have is only for the projects. And it's like when people are giving you money for what you are doing, they give you money for projects. But they don't give you money for the board to have meetings. So, it's difficult.

Kasumi Ito
Do you get salary from MindFreedom?

Janet Amegatcher
No, no salary, allowance.

Kasumi Ito
Allowance, yeah. How many board in the MindFreedom?

Janet Amegatcher
You mean board members?

Kasumi Ito
Yes, board members, yes.

Janet Amegatcher
Board members, we have seven.

Kasumi Ito
Seven.

Janet Amegatcher
Yeah.

Kasumi Ito
How many of them are users?

Janet Amegatcher
I'm not sure. I'm not sure

Kasumi Ito
Is there election of the board?

Janet Amegatcher
No, no, we don't do election. Nii, Dan and I select the board. Yes.

Kasumi Ito
So, you are not a board member?

Janet Amegatcher
I mean, we are board members. We are board members, but we need to get like four people to add to make the seven so that we canc.

Kasumi Ito
Yes. I focus on the international movement. I'm very happy to hear about PANPPD. Because it is difficult to know PANPPD. People are busy on the national and domestic things.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. That's true.

Kasumi Ito
Yeah, and African continent, it's very big. I think much bigger than European. Yeah. Before I focus on Africa, I focus on the Europe. Yes. There were board meetings frequently. It was much easier to know how do they manage European network. But Africa network is much difficult.

Janet Amegatcher
Difficult. Yes, yes.

Kasumi Ito
Until 2010, you are the chair of PANPPD.

Janet Amegatcher
Yeah. That's right.

Kasumi Ito
After the election in the ? is it in Cape Town?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. In Cape Town.

Kasumi Ito
You are not a board member?

Janet Amegatcher
Not a board member.

Kasumi Ito
Okay.

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, no, I was a board member until last year.

Kasumi Ito
Okay, so you went to Malawi?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, I went to Malawi. That was in two thousand and ? is it two thousandc

Kasumi Ito
Last year?

Janet Amegatcher
Pardon.

Kasumi Ito
I think meeting in Marawi was last year, no?

Janet Amegatcher
No, no. Last year we didnft go for the meeting. Okay, last year, I didn't go for the meeting. The Malawi meeting that I attended was the previous meeting. I think that was like 4 years ago, I think 2019, yes.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. That was a meeting of PANPPD?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes.

Kasumi Ito
Until that meeting, you are the board member?

Janet Amegatcher
No, no, no. Yes. Yes. I was a board member but not the Chair. Yes. board member.

Kasumi Ito
What's your task in the board after you are resigned as Chair?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, well, it was still sometimes ? okay, one of the things that we did was we did some interviews. We needed some people who would help like research fellow who would help PANPPD with the various challenges that we were having. We needed to do an interview, so we did it on the internet. We didn't have money to go for a meeting. We just had the meeting on the internet. And then we also had some board meetings to discuss the way forward. There were some people in some other countries who were ahead of PANPPD. And they wanted to join. We discussed it, to find out whether it was okay to let them join and then to find out maybe their background. So, those were some of the things that we did. Not much, not much.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. The participant of Cape Town Meeting was almost same as a participant in Denmark?

Janet Amegatcher
Pardon.

Kasumi Ito
The participants of the Cape Town Meeting was almost same as the participant in Denmark?

Janet Amegatcher
No, no. You mean for the African group?

Kasumi Ito
Yes, Africa, yes.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, yes. There were more.

Kasumi Ito
More African people, okay.

Janet Amegatcher
Yes, more African people because in Denmark, there were just a few of us Africans. But between 2004 and 2010, more people had heard about PANPPD, and then they joined. And then, for example, MindFreedom Ghana, the three of us went Cape Town. Yes. But Denmark, I said, me and another lady went.

Kasumi Ito
How did you find people in other countries?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, I think they saw it on the internet. They saw it on the internet that there was PANPPD, and they wanted to join, and then they started joining.

Kasumi Ito
The participants find the PANPPD on the internet?

Janet Amegatcher
Yes. I think then the individual countries, like Kenya, also started Kenyan Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. They also found members within Kenya. Like instead of one person attending in Denmark, in South Africa, when they were coming, I think, they were about three or four.

Kasumi Ito
From each country?

Janet Amegatcher
From each country. Yes, I think so. I think so.

Kasumi Ito
Do you remember how many country?

Janet Amegatcher
In South Africa?

Kasumi Ito
Yes.

Janet Amegatcher
I think it was about 10 or 12 countries. But I think there were some of the European countries too that attended. I remember there was this lady called, Jolijn.

Kasumi Ito
Ah, yes from Netherland. Yeah.

Janet Amegatcher
Okay. You know her?

Kasumi Ito
Yeah, yeah.

Janet Amegatcher
Okay, so she was there. I think some people from the Europe also attended that meeting. Yes. It wasn't a big meeting like the Denmark one.

Kasumi Ito
The Malawi conference also participated from Europe?

Janet Amegatcher
No. That one it was just a board meeting. It was a board meeting, but someone was able to get some small funds for us to meet instead of having internet meeting. That was why we were able to go to Malawi. Yes.

Kasumi Ito
How many members?

Janet Amegatcher
The board meeting? Oh, it was ? I think we were about ? was nine orc

Kasumi Ito
How many days?

Janet Amegatcher
I think it was a 3-day meeting. But we went the day before. So, then we spent 3 days for the meeting, and then we left the next day. I think it was about 5 days.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. Yes. Thank you so much.

Janet Amegatcher
Welcome. Welcome.

Kasumi Ito
Do you have anything to add that I should know?

Janet Amegatcher
Oh, well, I think this is about all.

Kasumi Ito
Okay. Thank you so much.

Janet Amegatcher
You're welcome. You're welcome.

END

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