National Organisation of User and Survivors of Psychiatry in Rwanda (NOUSPR) was established in 2007 to provide a voice to all people with psychosocial disabilities in Rwanda. It is a part of a worldwide movement, called the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, which advocates for the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities as provided for in the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.
As well as advocacy and awareness-raising at a national level, NOUSPR supports its members to : get psychiatric and other help ; resist spiritual or other forced treatments and the report abuses done to them ; organise in groups for mutual support and income generation. It also support care-givers through training, advice and awareness-raising and conducts research into the experience of people with psychosocial disabilities and their families.
NOUSPR supports thirteen active groups in nine districts of Rwanda : Nyagatare, Bugesera, Gasabo, Kicukiro, Ruhango, Nyaruguru, Rubavu, Nyanza and Rulindo. The membership is continuously growing and is currently over 650 (NOUSPR Member Survey 2013).
The groups meet regularly to share experiences and undertake income generating activities such as soap making, jewellery and basket weaving. Within each group there is a trained ‘patient expert’ who helps others to manage their medication plans and develop ‘crisis management plans’. They will accompany members to psychiatric facilities and engage district psychiatric nurses when required.