Latest advocacy resources


Kelly O'Donnell, Julian Eaton, Michele Lewis O'Donnell

GMH: What's Up? Recent Developments and DirectionsGlobal Insights, Office of International Affairs, American Psychological Association (June 2019).

--Are we shifting into a new phase of global mental health (GMH)? Very likely. In this short article we highlight several recent markers over the past year (events, reports, manuals, campaigns, consortia, etc.) that collectively reflect crucial developments and directions as well as increased momentum for GMH. It is the latest in an ongoing series of articles to orient colleagues in mental health and across sectors to GMH. We sense that GMH Generation 2.0 is upon us--as seen in the major growing awareness, acceptance, advocacy, collaboration, action, and hopefully increased funding for mental health (e.g., national health budgets, the Wellcome Trust’s additional £200 million for mental health research). 

The article linked at the top is for a short version for APA. Click HERE for the full version. Click HERE for the overview version.


At the World Bank Group (WBG)-International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings earlier this month in Bali, Indonesia, WBG President Dr. Jim Kim posed a critical question: “What will it take to promote economic growth and help lift people out of poverty everywhere in the world…How will they reach their ambitions in an increasingly complex world?”  

The key, President Kim noted, is for countries to make investments in people – ensuring that people accumulate the health, knowledge and skills needed to realize their full potential and that they can put those skills to use across the economy. In response, the WBG launched the Human Capital Project, an effort to accelerate scaled and smarter investments in people around the world, and a Human Capital Index to measure the current and potential productivity of a country’s people.
As the same time as the Bali Annual Meetings, we were in London at the Global Mental Health Ministerial Summit, hosted by the U.K. Government and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the support of the World Health Organization, making the case that investing in mental health is a critical but often overlooked investment in individual potential, human capital accumulation and economic success. Sadly, due to widespread global inaction, there is still limited or no access to integrated mental health services in most countries, which leaves mental health services under-resourced and creates a major problem for accessing appropriate care. Stigma and discrimination only compound the problem.
Yet this approach is myopic. A growing body of evidence shows that the social and economic losses related to unattended mental conditions, including substance use disorders, are staggering. In the world’s most advanced economies – the 36 OECD countries – mental ill health affects an estimated 20 percent of the working-age population at any time, and its direct and indirect economic costs are estimated to account for about 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to US$1.7 billion in 2017.
In the wealthy OECD countries, which spend on average 9 percent of GDP on health care, the high economic cost associated with mental conditions is largely driven not by mental health care expenditure, but by lost productivity in the working-age population (see Figure 1). Indeed, people suffering from mental ill health are less productive at work, are more likely to be out sick from work and when they are out sick are more likely to be absent for a longer period. Around 30 to 40 percent of all sickness and disability caseloads in OECD countries are related to mental health problems, according to a 2015 OECD report.



Movement for Global Mental Health, September 2018 newsletter


Movement for Global Mental Health, August 2018 newsletter

The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted in 2007 and has since been ratified by 177 countries. It represents a paradigm shift from an impairment-focused, biomedical model of disability to a socially focused, human rights-based model. Impairment arising out of a mental health condition is termed psychosocial disability in this model, and laws and clinical protocols governing mental health practice are likely to be informed by the CRPD's provisions. The Indian Mental Health Care Act of 2017 (MHCA) states that it was drafted because it is necessary to harmonize existing laws with [the CRPD].

United Nations

Mental health remains one of the most neglected global health issues, even though it is critical to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders, top United Nations officials have said at an event in London.

David Malatesta

I am not alone

By David Malatesta (Norway)

I know there are many of you here today, just like countless millions more, who suffer/have suffered from the symptoms of the scourge that is mental illness. The feelings of shame, humiliation and guilt. That we are the cause and solely responsible for the problem, even though, many try to convince us we are not, it is a real challenge not to believe it.


The stigma, that forces us to withdraw from our close ones, drop out of our social networks, and hide from our work colleagues. And the pain from the noise we are forced to endure, that is the deafening silence of isolation, trapped in a living, lonesome nightmare.


My story starts as a child, growing up in a dysfunctional family. A bitter, miserable, pill popping, alcoholic mother, filled with lies and emotional blackmail. My violent father, who knew how to use his fists and feet on my sister and me. He was an uneducated Italian immigrant. A harsh upbringing and witness to many horrible things as a child himself, was probably not the right recipe for being a parent. However, through hard work and sacrifice, he became a very successful, self-made restaurateur and hotelier in England.  Unfortunately, to his great disappointment, I was not the little Italian boy he had dreamed of. Was that my fault?


I remember one time, sitting next to my father in the car, I must have been about 4 or 5. I was just repeating everything he said while he was driving. Suddenly, there was an incident on the road with another driver, that caused him to swerve and as we drove on, he swore in Italian. I did not have a clue what he was saying, I just repeated it. His reaction, was to stop the car and beat me for swearing.


Growing up there was little trust and protection. The consequences of crossing confused boundaries could be severe. It was no surprise then, one day when I was 13 years old at school, I tried to commit suicide, but I was discovered and saved.


At home things only became worse. To this day I can still hear my father’s voice, the countless times he told me “You are rubbish, no good and when you are 18, I am going to throw you out, because then I will no longer be legally responsible for you, and I never want to see you again”.


I did leave home, in fact I ran away without telling anyone, first to Denmark and then Norway, where except for a year in Germany, I have lived ever since.


Like many in my situation, I had a very low esteem, my education had suffered, for a time I had mixed with the wrong crowd and became involved in things which I am not very proud of. Things that even today, send me powerful pangs of guilt.


This was the real world and I had to deal with it. Inside, I felt worthless, I was too scared to become emotionally attached to anyone, to build close relationships, for the fear of getting hurt.


I have never felt, that I have ever been in the position where I would be able to offer the kind of security, stability, a good life to a child where it would be able to prosper, so I have purposely avoided becoming a father, or becoming emotionally attached to anyone who wanted children. The truth is, that I want my father’s cursed genes to end with me. Is that right? Is that the way it should be? That is the way it is for me.


Sure, I have had success, taken my opportunities and missed others. I actually used my immense inferiority complex, to drive me back through adult high-school, and then on to university.


I have achieved some amazing highs. Unfortunately, with the highs come the lows. And believing that one is all alone, I allowed myself to be swallowed up into the dark, depths of depression, with only the world of professional psychiatry, preventing me from drowning.


I arrived at the Clubhouse, Fontenehus i Oslo, with nothing, no hope, no will to continue. I had become a recluse, afraid to leave the house, with only my dear partner supporting me. Of course, I was unsure, what is this place? What do they want? What and who lies behind it? Questions that could only be answered through my participation. I was afraid those first weeks. Yet I was welcomed so warmly. They genuinely seemed happy to see me. It felt like I had been diving in the deep, and now I was able to slowly swim back to the surface, and take some deep breaths of fresh, clear air.


And by volunteering and taking part in a few easy tasks, washing the entrance hall floor, sitting on reception for 30 minutes, carrying the dirty coffee cups up to the kitchen, I really did feel a sense of a simple structure in my mind that felt right. And senses of achievement that I was actually able to contribute something, to what I now know as the work-ordered day. For me, this really was meaningful work. And I was rewarded with a genuine, deep feeling of satisfaction. Though I was still too scared to go to the breakfast meetings, but at least I knew that now, I was not alone.


But I have to say here, that one of the most important things that kept me in the Clubhouse, was the fact that everything is voluntary. Had I felt in any way that I was been forced, or coerced to do something that I did not feel comfortable with, or obliged in any way to do something, that would have been my last day in the Clubhouse. And if that had happened, I really don’t know where I would be today. When you do something in the Clubhouse, it is because you want to, and that is what is real, it comes from the heart, it is truly genuine, it feels right and you are always encouraged to try.


Officially, I am termed disabled and mentally ill. And in that world, where is the hope? Yet in the Clubhouse world, I am active, alive, and because there is always so much to do, I genuinely do feel appreciated. When I stop, and look back at my time in the Clubhouse, I am just amazed at many of the things I have done and achieved, by allowing the Clubhouse, to reach out to me.


One of the great Clubhouse pioneers, Susan Omansky said ‘I need to engage in something from which I can derive my own sense of pride, accomplishment and self-satisfaction from the inside’. She is so right, and Clubhouse continuously offers me this type of engagement. Why? Because the Clubhouse is filled with so many opportunities, but the bottom line is, it is up to one to grasp these moments.


When I first walked in through Fontenehuset i Oslo’s doors, I never envisioned that soon I would be a part of a team, that was successful in developing our first website. We desperately needed pictures for our webpages, that nobody seemed to want to take, so I ended up taking them myself. Soon, I became the unofficial Clubhouse photographer. Before Clubhouse, I never had the confidence to show my photographs to anyone, now in the Clubhouse they are both published and exhibited. I was then asked to talk about the process of how we built the website, in a workshop about Clubhouse Relationships, at the European Conference in Stirling, Scotland. Next, I was asked to join an employment committee, which was responsible for hiring two wonderful members of staff. When a poster appeared on the Clubhouse notice board about Comprehensive Clubhouse Training, several people, both members and staff encouraged me to apply. After a lot of thought, discussion, would I be able to travel to London and be away from my partner and home for 3 weeks? Remember I was a recluse. Even my psychologist advised me against it. But in the end, I thought this was an opportunity that probably would never come along again, so I signed up and was chosen. But would I be able to do it?


After only two days at Mosaic Clubhouse, I had become so inspired, that I decided to completely immerse myself in the entire training experience. My self-confidence was given a massive boost, not only by how I was welcomed and received, but also by how the Mosaic community encouraged and allowed me to develop, while taking part in the discussions and their work-ordered day. This really was a life changing event for me. Ask anyone who knew me after I returned. One staff member described it ‘as if a light had been turned on inside me’. I could feel the extra step in my stride. In fact, I still do.


Not long after, I was taken completely by surprise, when I was asked if I might consider applying for the Faculty for Clubhouse Development. Now to be perfectly honest, my first reaction to this idea was incredulity. The notion was galaxies off my radar. At first, I did not respond, but after discussing it with a staff member and then the director, who both thought it was a great idea, I filled out the application.


I now have the great privilege, honour and responsibility, of travelling to, and getting to know, other Clubhouse communities on accreditation visits. I also have the opportunity, of working closely with some truly inspiring, Clubhouse International individuals.  And being a member of the Faculty, actually allows me to feel that I am now in a position, to give something back, to the Clubhouse community. However, I have to tell you this, being accepted for Faculty training, literary forced me to face and cross one colossal mental barrier. Up until then, I had no problems working in any of the Clubhouse units, except for one, which I absolutely dreaded. The culinary unit. Now everyone knows that if you want to get to know a Clubhouse quickly, and what goes on there, go and spend some time chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Which is an ideal place to be on an accreditation visit. Some people have a fear of spiders, mine was kitchens. This goes all the way back to my childhood and my father’s catering profession. I cannot put into words the psychological terror that I went through, when I asked to join the culinary unit for a couple of weeks. And the courage I had to muster up, from where I really do not know, in order to show up to that first, early Monday morning kitchen unit meeting. At least they seemed pleased to see me. I immediately threw myself into everything, from the buying, chopping, cleaning, counting, laying, stirring, washing and wiping, I did it all. And you know what? I absolutely loved it. What a personal victory that was for me.


And since my Clubhouse, Fontenehus i Oslo has now become Clubhouse International’s 12th and newest international training base, it was only natural that I was asked to join the training team, which I just find so fulfilling. Yet, after all this and much more, I am the first to admit, that I still find a return to the world outside Clubhouse, and everything it entails, daunting. But by being a part of the Clubhouse, which just seems so good at encompassing and adapting to my needs. I really can say it has given me the opportunity, to safely push my boundaries and comfort zone. And now I am confident in the knowledge, that as long as I remain active in the Clubhouse, and continue to involve myself, there is always going to be hope.


And just like every other Clubhouse member, I know when I do well, the community will celebrate, and when things are tough, they will always be there to support me.


I am not alone!


PRIDE is a five-year research program seeking to develop psychosocial interventions for school-going adolescents aged 11-19 years with mental health problems in India.

Implementer & Partners  PRIDE is implemented by Sangath in collaboration with Harvard Medical School (USA), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM, UK) and is funded by the Wellcome Trust (UK). School activities are being conducted in partnership with the Dept. of Education in New Delhi and the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman in Goa. PRIDE is supported by an advisory group of international and Indian experts and consultants.

Contact Us For more information about PRIDE please write to:

  • Prof Vikram Patel at

  • Dr Daniel Michelson at

  • Dr Bidyut Sarkar at

Contact local offices at: Delhi J-18, II Floor, Lajpat Nagar 3, New Delhi 110024, India

Goa H No 451 (168), Bhatkar Waddo, Socorro, Porvorim, Bardez, Goa 403501, India


Web /


Charlene Sunkel (on behalf of the MGMH)

Movement for Global Mental Health newsletter for November 2017

Mr David Naboare

Mental health is one of the important health concerns worldwide. People with mental disabilities are often exposed to abuse and other human rights violations and the unhygienic environment they live in put them at risk for contracting communicable diseases. Worldwide mental health has received the needed attention by stakeholders of health but in Ghanaian communities, people with psychosocial disability or mental illnesses go through a lot of turmoil.

In Ghana, people with psychosocial disability go through many challenges and experience neglect. Most people with psychosocial disability are perceived by communities to being criminals or offended the gods or God before contracting these conditions. In fact, persons with psychosocial disability are seen as demon possessed who can only be “normal” when the evil spirits are exorcised by pastors or traditional priest.

In many of the communities in Ghana, people with psychosocial disability are not sent to health care centers or hospitals for treatment but are rather sent to prayer camps and shrines for treatment. In those places they are either chained to prevent them for causing (perceived) harm or being kept in unhygienic conditions that aggravate their condition. Some prayer camps require those people to undergo dry fasting for days to weeks. When they stay there for long and there is no improvement of their condition, they are taken home and left to roam on the streets without care or support from their families. In these conditions, they eat and drink whatever food and water they come across. Some are also beating, mocked and rebuked as if they are not human beings.

Recently, the writer witnessed a young man with a psychosocial disability who was kept in a prayer camp along Bimbilla –Yendi Road, he escaped from the camp and when he was seen on the road, his people subjected him to physical abuse by beating him whilst forcing him back to the prayer camp.

Also, in early part of November this year, a man in his 50s presenting with symptoms of mental illness, the family did not take the man to the health centre or hospital for treatment, but exposed to accusations of being bewitched and for killing his neighbors in spiritual realms. His condition became worse and he was sent to a prayer camp, after spending two weeks in the camp without a change in his condition, he had been returned back home in that conditions where he has been left to his fate.

Apart from the above examples, another man with psychosocial disability in Chamba, a town in Nanumba North is always seen with cuffs on his hands and legs making it difficult to freely move, walk and eat. The family’s response if that they are trying to prevent him from harming the community members.

When the author interviewed some of the families and the general public on why they don’t send their relatives who present with mental health problem to hospital, the majority held the notion that persons with mental health problems or psychosocial disability cannot be treated in hospital unless going through spiritual means, others responded that the cost of treatment is too expensive since they have to travel far distances with their relative to access mental health care.

It is recommended that government through Ghana Health Service, Mental Health Authority, religious institutions and relevant Non-Governmental Organizations should embark on more public education on mental health education. There should be psychiatric or mental health units attached to every health care centre or hospital with well trained mental health workers to examine and provide mental health care at the door step of every Ghanaian.

The cost of treatment should also be absorbed under National Health Insurance Scheme or subsidized to enable the poor access mental health care.

Lastly, Government should liaise with prayer camp and shrine leaders to refer those with mental health problems to health centers or to allow mental health workers to partner with the prayer camp and shrine leaders develop a strategy to ensure that persons presenting with mental health problems access mental health services.

Mr David Naboare

National President: Ghana National Association of Community Mental Health Officers

Contact me on Tel: +233-0541098521/ +233-0206092748

Facebook: David Naboare

WhatsApp: +233 0541098521


Sangath and The American Center

Celebrating World Mental Health Day: “Social Media & Mental Health: What does mental health support look like in the 21st century?”

The American Center, New Delhi, 10 October, 2017


It’s Ok To Talk, Sangath and The American Center, New Delhi, hosted a Panel Discussion and Workshop to celebrate World Mental Health Day, on 10th October. At the event, five panellists were brough together from varied fields – health research, mental health, the arts and social media to facilitate a conversation about the different ways to support young people’s mental health and to define actions we can take together.

The Discussion was mediated by Sarah Iqbal, Public Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance in conversation with journalist and author Jerry Pinto, psychologist and co-Founder of Children First Dr Shelja Sen, founder of Youth Ki Awaaz Anshul Tewari and Tara Bedi who works on community outreach at Instagram.

The speakers talked about the different ways young people can use art, expression and social networks as platforms for self-expression and emphasized the importance of self-care and seeking help.

“In our context, it is ever more important for us to listen actively and have empathy for those around us who are going through mental health challenges. It is vital to separate the person from the problem as they are not defined by their suffering; individuals need to take care of themselves and find their community,” said Dr Shelja Sen.

They illustrated this through examples from their own lives to highlight that both giving and getting help can take different forms, and self-care can be individualised for young people, but is an essential compoment of maintaning wellbeing. They also spoke about the urgent need for safe spaces online that can support discussions about mental health and highlighted the different ways that social networks such as Instagram and Facebook are encouraging and supporting these spaces. Our understanding, language and terminology too needs to capture the different states of being that we go through, “there is no and can be no pervasive, universal definition of what ‘normal’ entails”, said Jerry Pinto. 

The panel discussion was preceded by a Twitter Chat the previous day, “Is your mental health suffering in secret? #ItsOkBaatKaro” to promote a conversation around supporting young people’s mental health.



Movement for Global Mental Health newsletter for September 2017

Robert Van Voren

When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, new independent psychiatric associations were established in many of the former Soviet republics, and groups of reform-minded psychiatrists initiated projects to discard the old Soviet psychiatric system, a system notorious for its political abuse of psychiatry and characterised by an almost exclusively biological orientation and institutional form of care.

Lancet Psychiatry

This Commission addresses several priority areas for psychiatry over the next decade, and into the 21st century. These represent challenges and opportunities for the profession to sustain and develop itself to secure the best

possible future for the millions of people worldwide who will face life with mental illness.

Japheth Otieno Obare

My names are Japheth Otieno Obare and I was born and bred in Siaya County in South West Kenya. I am the third born in a family of fourteen. I had a difficult childhood and teenage years but, when I connect the dots in hindsight, I realize I must have been troubled by Schizophrenia from a young age. I did not have trouble in school with my studies though. I did well and finished my high school education in 1992.

In 1995, I have a serious mental meltdown while in Nairobi, Kenya and I was diagnosed with strong Malaria. Looking back today, I believe it was a misdiagnosis because I turned psychotic.

I became part of a missionary group in 2000 and travelled to the USA to take a seven month bible training in Madison, Wisconsin in 2002. I then had my second psychotic breakdown and was admitted at Chicago Read Mental Hospital. I was diagnosed with "brief psychotic disorder" and returned to Kenya prematurely.

I returned to the USA in 2004 to a Worship and Evangelism School in Chico, California. In 2005, I had a third psychotic breakdown and this time I got diagnosed with "paranoid schizophrenia" at a San Francisco Mental Health Clinic. I was not hearing any voices but, I admit I was paranoid. I refused to accept and chose to live in denial instead. I enrolled at San Francisco Community College for an Accounting program which I completed in May 2008. At a round this time, I started hearing voices which were quiet terrifying. I decided to return to Kenya, all the while still denying such a diagnosis and choosing to do spiritual warfare instead, something that was in line with my religious belief back then.

In 2015, I had another mild psychotic meltdown and my family who had apparently noticed a change in behaviour after my return from the USA became actively involved. This led to a second same diagnosis as the one I got in San Francisco. This led to the end of my denial. I started taking medicine but realized that where I lived, there was no support system at all. So I formed a group composed of peer, family and friends to start such a support system.

Professor Anselm Eldergill, Judge in the Court of Protection


There are many examples in the criminal and civil law where a judge is constrained by the law and is bound to reach a decision which he or she feels is unjust or lacking in compassion. Consequently, many judges would be more likely to say that the ideal judge is one who is ‘dispassionate’ rather than ‘compassionate’ and that their personal feelings must not be permitted to skew what the law requires of them. Areas of the law concerned with vulnerable people, such as mental health law, do tend to allow more leeway for compassion. As with all jurisdictions, a judge operating in this area needs to know the relevant law and procedure and to be a competent evaluator of evidence. However, other qualities are fundamental to the quality of the decision-making such as sympathy, empathy, compassion, experience, understanding and courage. The application of sympathy and intuitive understanding is a prerequisite for the objective observation of mental phenomena in others. Consequently, empathy and compassion are instruments of justice and the notion that objective decision-making is undermined or contaminated by them is impossible to support. Because proceedings involve a person’s personal welfare, an objective ‘rational’ decision is one based on the subjective (personal) feelings of the relevant people, including those which the judge believes are irrational or illogical. If the judge is uninterested in the person’s problems and the underlying causes, such a narrow field of view necessarily leads to a narrow understanding of the overall situation.


Movement for Global Mental Health monthly newsletter (May 2017)

Over 14,000 people worldwide are part of a growing social movement to address Adverse Childhood Experiences. The movement responds to a public health study of over 17,000 people, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found a direct link between ten adverse childhood events and the adult onset of chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and negative health behaviours (smoking, alcoholism, etc.). ACEs are common – 64% of U.S. adults have at least one. Failing to address ACEs is expensive – in 2014, the estimated impact of social costs and lost earnings associated with child maltreatment was $5.8 trillion in the U.S. alone. Dr. Robert Anda calls ACEs “chronic” and “insidious,” rolling out from generation to generation via epigenetic inheritance.

Bulletin of WHO

Many people with depression and other mental health problems can be treated successfully by community health workers, but so far no country has scaled up this approach. Vikram Patel talks to Fiona Fleck.

Stephanie Bell

Having struggled with depression and anxiety during my first year studying at Queen's University, I was empathetic to the fact that other students may be facing similar struggles. This is why I decided to share my own story. Working with mental health organisations and advocating for the promotion of positive mental health and challenging stigma helped me get through difficult times. 

Vikram Patel, Graham Thornicroft

The United Nations will soon decide what will follow its millennium development goals, which expire in 2015. The case for including mental health among the new sustainable development goals is compelling, both because it cuts across most of the suggested new goals and because of the unmet needs of the 450 million people in the world with mental illness.1

Kelly O'Donnell
GMH: Strategies for Staying Updated, Kelly O'Donnell, Psychology International, March 2014, Vol. 25, No. 1
This brief article identifies seven “GMH flows” that are important for getting updated and staying updated in GMH. It also includes relevant updates from other sectors–health, humanitarian, development, economic. Click here for full version of the article on the GMH-Map website (the full version is also attached here on the MGMH website). Note that this March 2014 issue of Psychology International has many articles related to GMH/international psychology. 
Richard Horton, The Lancet

The Lancet, Volume 382, Issue 9888, Page 192, 20 July 2013

Offline: Four principles of social medicine

Although officially classed as an upper-middle-income country, the American embargo against Cuba continues, punishing not only a government but also an entire people. (Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that “No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties…are prohibited.”) The Cuban Assets Control Regulations were established 50 years ago this month (on July 8, 1963) under the US Trading With The Enemy Act. It is a violation of those regulations if an American citizen travels to Cuba, engages in any kind of trade with Cuba, or even brings back goods of Cuban origin. There is a complex bureaucracy around the supply of medical products, which limits their supply and use. 50 years of trying to hurt 11 million people enough to encourage an insurrection to overthrow their government has taken its toll. Infrastructure in Cuba is fragile. Incomes are low. The Castro regime—Fidel or Raul, it is the same party that has been in power since the Revolution of 1959—is struggling to open up an economy without suffering the depredations that plunged its one-time banker, the Soviet Union, into criminal mayhem. (When the Soviet Union imploded, the GDP of Cuba collapsed by a third within 24 hours, a moment Cubans, with seemingly wry humour, call the “Special Period”.) Yet, despite Cuba's problems, there are few public protests. The government does not fire rubber bullets at its citizens. It does not need tear gas. Why? Could it at least partly be thanks to universal health coverage?
Click the link below to access the full article...

Jonathan Campion, Dinesh Bhugra, Sue Bailey, Michael Marmot
The Lancet, Volume 382, Issue 9888, Pages 183 - 184, 20 July 2013
Jonathan CampionDinesh BhugraSue BaileyMichael Marmot 

Socioeconomic inequalities are associated with increased risk of mental disorders in two ways. First, more pronounced income inequality within wealthy countries is associated with increased prevalence of mental disorders. 
Second, the degree of socioeconomic disadvantage that people experience is associated with proportionately increased risk of developing a mental disorder. 
Mental disorders can then lead to a range of further inequalities that compound the disadvantage associated with low...
Click the link below to access the article...
Becker, A. & Kleinman, A.

When the World Health Organization (WHO) European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health endorsed the statement “No health without mental health” in 2005,1 it spoke to the intrinsic — and indispensable — role of mental health care in health care writ large. Yet mental health has long been treated in ways that reflect the opposite of that sentiment. This historical divide — in practice and in policy — between physical health and mental health has in turn perpetuated large gaps in resources across economic, social, and scientific domains. The upshot is a global tragedy: a legacy of the neglect and marginalization of mental health.2 The scale of the global impact of mental illness is substantial, with mental illness constituting an estimated 7.4% of the world's measurable burden of disease.3 The lack of access to mental health services of good quality is profound in populations with limited resources, for whom numerous social hazards exacerbate vulnerability to poor health. The human toll of mental disorders is further compounded by collateral adverse effects on health and social well-being, including exposure to stigma and human rights abuses, forestallment of educational and social opportunities, and entry into a pernicious cycle of social disenfranchisement and poverty.4,5 Advances in efforts to alleviate the human and social costs of mental disorders have been both too slow and too few.

Michael R. Phillips, M.D., M.P.H.; Hanhui Chen, M.D., Ph.D.; Kate Diesfeld, J.D.; Bin Xie, M.D.; Hui G. Cheng, Ph.D.; Graham Mellsop, M.D.; Xiehe Liu, M.D.

Am J Psychiatry 2013;170:588-591. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12121559

After 27 years of often contentious debate, China’s first national mental health legislation was adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on October 26, 2012, with the law taking effect on May 1, 2013 (1). Over the coming decades, this wide-ranging law will fundamentally transform the provision of mental health services in China.

How has this law come into being? From 1985 through 1999, 10 proposed versions of the law were primarily debated in academic circles, spearheaded by the efforts of Professor Xiehe Liu (2). After 1999, the responsibility for the development of the law was taken over by the Ministry of Health. Over the next decade, several large municipalities around the country adopted their own mental health regulations (3), gaining experience that helped in the formulation of the national statute (which will now supersede local regulations). Multiple versions of the national law were debated by expert committees convened by the Ministry. The members of these committees were primarily prominent psychiatrists, public health experts, and legal experts. Other professional groups, individuals with mental illnesses, and the families of the mentally ill had little role in the formulation of the law, although they were able to make comments on the law after the draft version was released for public comment in June 2011...


free text here

Rene Loewenson

Activism for health

Health Activism: Foundations and Strategies
Glenn Laverack
We live in a time of spectacular opportunity for health. By 2011, life expectancy exceeded 80 years in 26 countries. But with life expectancy below 55 years in another 17 countries, there are also spectacular levels of deprivation. Opportunities for health have grown, but so too have inequalities in access to those opportunities.
WHO's 2008 Commission on Social Determinants of Health attributed health inequalities to “structural conditions that together fashion the way societies are organised—poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements and bad politics”. The Commission proposed as one pillar of the response to build the power and ability people have to make choices about health inputs and to use these choices towards health. Amartya Sen has similarly identified health outcomes as being a product of different dimensions of functioning and of agency. Whilst health professionals are fairly certain of their role in a biomedical approach to improving health, there is less certain knowledge about whether and how to intervene in unequal power relations or to build people's agency to achieve wellbeing. Yet as Rudolf Virchow once wrote “all disease has two causes, one pathological and the other political”.
Ronald Labonté

Health activism in a globalising era: lessons past for efforts future

In 1848 the Prussian pathologist Rudolf Virchow famously described medicine as a social science, and politics as medicine writ large. Virchow's medicine today is better recognised as public health, writ large by our evidence of the political, social, and economic determinants of health. Virchow's then-radical theory of social medicine was built upon his own youthful investigation of typhoid among Silesian coal miners. His revolutionary prescription ranged from increased democracy and female suffrage, to improved wages and working conditions and progressive taxation. His government employers thanked him for his report and fired him. A few weeks later, a committed activist, he joined Berlin's public protests and street barricades of the short-lived 1848 populist revolution.
Few major social advances in public health have been achieved without health workers taking political risks. Virchow's British contemporary, John Snow, similarly faced censure from those supporting the prevailing miasma theory of disease in the face of his fastidious evidence-gathering. In 1854 Snow's careful work led to the removal of the handle of the choleric Broad Street pump, an archetypal moment in 19th-century public health. These two past approaches capture to some extent the dynamics that underpin health activism today: Snow had a singular focus in response to a particular problem; Virchow was aligned with a broad movement aimed at overturning a pathological political order.
The Lancet

Violence against women: ending the global scourge

Maria Stubbings was strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend, who had also killed a previous girlfriend. Christine Chambers complained about violence from a former partner for 2 years before he murdered her. Jeanette Goodwin was stabbed 30 times by an ex-partner in front of her husband. Last week, these victims of intimate partner homicide in the UK were deemed to have been let down by the police in a report by the HM Inspector of Constabulary.
Such violence, however, is not only a failing in law enforcement, nor is it confined to the UK. This week, in The Lancet, we publish online first a systematic review of the global prevalence of intimate partner homicide. It shows that, overall, 13·5% of homicides are committed by an intimate partner, and in female homicides the proportion of such murders is six times higher than in male homicides—38·6% versus 6·3%. This finding is perhaps unsurprising considering the shocking burden of other forms of intimate partner violence that women experience.
On June 20, WHO released the first global systematic review on the prevalence of violence against women. It shows that 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence, making such abuse a “global public health problem of epidemic proportions”. The study also finds that women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners report higher rates of health problems than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence; they are almost twice as likely to have depression, and, in some regions, are 1·5 times more likely to acquire HIV. They are also more than twice as likely to have an abortion.
Kolappa, Henderson, Kishore

 No Health Withoutt Mental Health: Lessons Unlearned

An article consisting of five cogent paragrpahs on MH and NCDs, 

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, January 2013--91: 3-3A

in2mentalhealth Roos Korste
An review of Recovery and Peer/User-led theories/projects/stories worldwide in: 10 organization-examples, 10 inspiring videos, 10 recovery models/theories, 10 relevant documents, Comments/additions are very welcome
Daniel McLaughlin and Elisabeth Wickeri
I am pleased to announce the publication of our report Mental Health and Human Rights in Cambodia. The report represents an innovative application of human rights norms to the Cambodian mental health landscape based on extensive research and fieldwork, including more than 150 interviews. Please feel free to contact Daniel McLaughlin ( with any questions or comments you may have about the report, as well as to circulate it to others.
The Programme for Improving Mental health care (PRIME) has recently produced a policy brief, “Poverty and Mental Disorders: Breaking the Cycle in Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries”. Based on the results from two systematic reviews, it was found that mental health interventions were associated with improved economic outcomes. At the same time, it was also found that poverty alleviation programmes can have mental health benefits, particularly for conditional cash transfers and asset promotion programmes. It is thus emphasized that interventions are needed that address both the social causes of mental illness and the disabilities and economic deprivation that are a consequence of mental illness. Policy recommendations are provided. See the attached.
Kelly O’Donnell

CEO of Member Care Associates and Coordinator of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Working Group of the Geneva-based NGO Forum for Health, Kelly O’Donnell, has recently written three resource articles on global mental health (GMH). The purpose of these articles is to provide user-friendly overviews of the field of global mental health, helping to orient people to this domain, especially students and practitioners in the mental health and overall health fields.

Resource 1. Global Mental Health: A Resource Map for Connecting and Contributing (Psychology International, July 2011).

This brief article provides a 60 minute overview of GMH via links to 10 written/multimedia resources on the web. It’s a great way to quickly see the big picture.

Click on this link to access the article:

Resource 2. Global Mental Health: Finding Your Niches and Networks (Psychology International, March 2012).

This brief article builds upon the first article. It identifies 10 overlapping areas of GMH (niche-nets) with links to current web resources for each area.

Click on this link to access the article:

Resource 3. Global Mental Health: A Resource Primer for Exploring the Domain (International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, July 2012).

This is a major research article with an extensive listing of GMH resources, prioritizing those from the last 10 years. The resources are categorized into six areas: organizations, publications, conferences, training, human rights, and humanitarian. It is also foundational for the previous two articles as well as the new web site, GMH-Map—part of a collaborative project to identify and share GMH resources widely.

Click on this link to access the article:

Rebecca S. Hock, Flora Or, Kavitha Kolappa, Matthew D. Burkey, Pamela J. Surkan, William W. Eaton
Coordinated response needed to capitalize on WHO's mental health resolution.
MDAC and Together
The purpose of this handbook is to assist mental disability advocacy services throughout Europe. We hope that advocacy services will become more effective by reading this guidance, by undergoing training on key topics and by adopting policies similar to the ones presented here. The handbook sets out best practice guidelines for advocacy services and is based on the experience of long-standing advocacy services for people with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities in the United Kingdom, a country in which mental health advocacy has played an important role in protecting human rights for many years.
Kjell Bondevik served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1997 to 2005, making him Norway's longest serving non-Labour Party Prime Minister since World War II. While serving his first term as Prime Minister, Bondevik attracted international attention in August 1998 when he admitted that he was suffering from depressive episode, becoming the highest ranking world leader to admit to suffering from a mental illness while in office.
Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry deliberated the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (2008) and mental health reform on the African Continent. Delegates from 10 African Organizations representing people with psychosocial disabilities from East, West and Southern Africa gathered together to debate the challenges and issues facing one of the most silent and marginalized voices on the Continent. The name of the organization was changed to The Pan African Network of People with Psychosocial Disabilities as recognition that “users and survivors of psychiatry” does not adequately reflect representation and the lived reality of this voiceless group in Africa. The Congress culminated in the Cape Town Declaration of October of 2011 which was read at the Second Summit of the Movement for Global Mental Health (Cape Town, 17 October 2011) and the World Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health (Cape Town, 18 – 21 October 2011).
United for Global Mental Health

This briefing explains why it’s #TimeToAct on mental health worldwide,

recommends what each of uscan do and details milestonesto capitalise on.

Charlene Sunkel, Shekhar Saxena

There has been a renewed focus and commitment on rights-based mental health care in 2018. This move is most welcome, while fully recognising that a lot more action is needed on this front in all countries.


Movement for Global Mental Health newsletter for October 2017


Enabling Access to Mental Health Care through Telepsychiatry in Congo, where there's currently one psychiatrist for every 2 million people. The country of over 70 million people has only 36 psychiatrists and most of them are based in capitol, Kinshasa.  The mission of Uvira Telepsychiatry Services is using emerging technology to help reach underserved populations in east Congo who lack access to psychiatric care via interactive videoconferencing without having to worry about travel burdens and visa applications. With only One psychiatrist for every 2 million people, it's difficult if not impossible to see a psychiatrist in Congo. The country of over 70 million people has only 36 psychiatrists and most of them are based in capitol, Kinshasa. "While no technology will ever take the place of personal interaction, telepsychiatry has proven effective as a medium for clinical evaluation and care where onsite resources are limited by time, distance, and financial constraints."

"I think this is a great way to impact a community remotely without travel cost"  Espoir M. Kyubwa, M.D.,Ph.D. Candidate. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Gilliam Fellow Department of Bioengineering, Jacob School of Engineering University of California, San Diego


The July Newsletter from MGMH has been released! Please click this link to view the July newsletter.

If you didn't receive the newsletter and want to be subscribed, please send us an email at 


United for Global Mental Health


News on global mental health advocacy, campaigning and messaging.

Sally Souraya, Thomas Canning, Paul Farmer

The global healthcare community has long focused its efforts predominantly on physical health, leaving mental health behind in terms of awareness, public perception and health prioritization. Over the last few years, however, we have seen a shift in awareness and understanding of mental health. People are more likely to be open about their experiences with mental health problems; media coverage has increased; and senior public figures are recognizing the importance of mental health to our society.

Hundreds of millions of people suffer from anxiety and depression. These conditions place the heaviest mental health burden on global society and are the largest contributors to years lived with disability – so much so that they can be considered as global pandemics. Attempts to prevent and treat these conditions require a persistent multifaceted approach, yet we are currently underprepared to address this major health and social issue at the local, national and international level.

This report aims to support policymakers to tackle anxiety and depression by highlighting successful evidence-based solutions to managing these conditions. It also offers a roadmap to implementing the most appropriate solutions, especially in the field of prevention. This will include next generation initiatives to address the mental health needs of the 21st century that range from novel cost-effective approaches and workplace and community schemes, to the wider application of digital solutions. The report also introduces a WISH National Anxiety and Depression Plan Checklist to assess the current policy status regarding anxiety and depression for each nation.

This report makes the case that a prioritized, focused approach to anxiety and depression can mitigate the risks of these conditions, and contribute to the health and wellbeing of any nation.


Academy of Medical Sciences

Published in 2011, the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health initiative provided a framework to guide the research needed to improve treatment and prevention of mental health disorders and expand access to mental health services. At the Academy’s workshop on global mental health participants reflected on progress since 2011, focusing on specific life-course stages, and identified priorities for research in treatment and prevention, as well as enduring challenges and emerging opportunities.

Guiding principles for global mental health research

The integration of mental health into global health and development agendas: Participants agreed that, since 2011, the global profile of mental health has increased significantly. Mental health is both explicitly and implicitly referred to in the SDGs and, more importantly, the interdependence of mental health and other SDGs is widely recognised. Expanding access to appropriate mental health services to everyone regardless of socio-economic status is also integral to the global momentum towards UHC. The close association between mental health and these global agendas could provide additional impetus and present new research opportunities to reduce the burden of mental health disorders.

A life-course perspective: Participants also noted that the life-course perspective is a key developmental framework for addressing mental health questions. Life stages such as motherhood, early childhood, adolescence, adulthood and older adulthood present unique challenges, influencing the nature of mental health disorders experienced and the support and care required. The life-course perspective also highlights how mental health disorders may have their roots in the early stages of life, and the important implications for prevention.

Current status of global mental health research for treatment and prevention

Significant progress has been made in the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions for mental health disorders and in models of multidisciplinary teams suitable for LMICs. Importantly, the recognition that mental health disorders are universal aspects of the human condition has provided a rationale for the repurposing of effective, theoretically informed treatments across diverse contexts. Nevertheless, access to mental healthcare globally remains low. A multitude of social determinants affect mental health, spanning multiple domains, which impacts on strategies for prevention and promotion. Research has begun to unpick complex pathways of causation, examining which distal and proximal factors affect mental health, as well as the reciprocal relationship between mental health and economic wellbeing. These efforts will underpin the development of effective, affordable, and implementable interventions.

Priority areas for global mental health research

Treatment and care: Participants concluded that an extensive body of evidence now exists on the effectiveness of treatments for mental health disorders and, to some extent, their delivery by non-specialised providers. Key research challenges include the design and evaluation of evidence-based treatments tailored to local health systems and socio-cultural contexts, and the design and assessment of strategies for use at a population level. Participants outlined a ‘core plus custom’ model. As the understanding of mental health disorders improves, and new interventions are evaluated, the range of core options available for adaptation to local circumstances could be expanded. These core options, such as validated treatments and models of care, could be customised to local needs, constraints and facilitators. Within the context of UHC, participants also identified a need for research on strengthening health systems, incorporating mental healthcare and the development of sustainable models of funding. It was suggested that research could assess how medical professionals, community health workers, informal healthcare providers (such as traditional healers and peers) and existing social infrastructure (including religious institutions, cooperatives, schools or self-help groups) could play a role in expanding access to services. Participants also identified research priorities at key life stages. These included how best to engage partners and other family members in maternal mental health interventions; how to design adolescent-specific interventions; and how to provide care for vulnerable older people with multiple health conditions.

Prevention and promotion: It was agreed that the evidence base is not as well established for promotion and prevention, providing less scope for applied intervention studies. It was recognised that a deeper understanding of chains of causation, and how proximal determinants such as those that precipitate diseases mediate the effects of distal determinants that represent an underlying vulnerability for a particular condition, was required. This would help identify appropriate points of intervention and provide a basis for the evaluation of interventions. Promotion was also seen to raise an evaluation challenge. Good mental health is not simply the absence of a mental health disorder, yet there is no agreed metric for the ‘positive’ aspects of mental health. The need for mental health promotion to evaluating positive mental health outcomes was recognised as a significant challenge. When looking at mental health from a life-course perspective, it was felt that research on interventions early in the life course for prevention and promotion was vital. A better understanding of the factors contributing to mental health resilience could help identify ways to build protective mental health reserves. It was suggested that research could examine issues such as the role of parents and schools in promoting good mental health, how to improve links between education and health sectors, and how to reach vulnerable young people outside the education system.

The issue of how best to protect the mental health of vulnerable older people, many of whom are at risk of poverty, social isolation, discrimination and elder abuse, was also seen as an important challenge. Innovative models of community or financial support were seen as possible solutions for further investigation.

Challenges and opportunities

Understanding cultural context: Participants recognised that conceptualisations of, and responses to, mental health disorders are strongly influenced by factors such as early life experiences and socio-cultural context. Service providers typically rely on standard methods of diagnosis and categorisation of mental health disorders, yet these may not be consistent with individuals’ belief systems, and patients may reject diagnostic labels. Research on these contextual factors could inform the design of appropriate diagnostic and assessment tools, support efforts to increase the demand for mental health services, improve understanding of the mechanisms involved in the aetiology of mental health disorders or responses to interventions, and influence the design of intervention strategies.

The impact of digital technologies: New digital technologies were seen to be a double-edged sword. Their positive impact being the opportunities they offer in capturing mental health-related data directly from individuals, and delivering individualised self-help and training of providers. Conversely, concerns were raised about the potential mental health impact of the growing global use of social media and other digital technologies, as well as privacy and data security issues. This field is new and further research would bring insight into the advantages and disadvantages of these issues.

Intersectoral approaches: It was suggested that intersectoral approaches should be central to the development and evaluation of integrated mental health services, spanning social care and community support. Research across sectors is also important for understanding the impact of distal determinants and pathways of causation. Participants also noted that sectors such as education or the workplace could contribute to the development and evaluation of interventions to promote mental wellbeing.


The Mental Health Atlas 2017 is remarkably significant as it is providing information and data on the progress towards the achievement of objectives and targets of the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020 to be measured.

This Action Plan contains four objectives:

(1) To strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health;

(2) To provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in communitybased settings;

(3) To implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health;

(4) To strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.

Global targets were established for each of these objectives to measure the collective action and achievements by Member States relating to the overall goal of the Action Plan. Mental Health Atlas is the mechanism through which indicators in relation to agreed global targets, as well as a set of other core mental health indicators, are being collected.

This edition of Mental Health Atlas also assumes new importance while WHO is embarking on a major transformation to increase its impact at country level and to be fit-for-purpose in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The inclusion of mental health in the Sustainable Development Agenda, which was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, is likely to have a positive impact on communities and countries where millions of people will receive much needed help.

Data included in Mental Health Atlas 2017 demonstrates that progressive development is being made in relation to mental health policies, laws, programmes and services across WHO Member States. However extensive efforts, commitment and resources at global and country level are needed to meet the global targets. 

Dr Shekhar Saxena


Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

NCD Alliance


Time to Deliver in 2018: Bolder Commitments and Action Needed to Reverse the Tide of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Disorders

The NCD Alliance and over 190 civil society organisations (CSOs) welcome the Report of the WHO Independent High-­Level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), Time To Deliver(link is external)launched on Friday 1 June in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of crucial negotiations for the United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs (UN  HLM) taking place in New York on 27 September. 

The Commission's report draws a line in the sand on the need for political leaders to accept that progress to date has been severely inadequate and out of step with the growing burden of NCDs and mental and neurological health. All evidence points to the same unpleasant reality: if the current pace of progress continues unabated, by 2030 the agreed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to reduce NCD mortality will remain a distant reality, failing millions of people and challenging the achievement of all other SDG targets and goals within and beyond health. 

The consequences of these projections are real and devastating. Millions more people and communities will have lost loved ones of all ages to avoidable death. Millions more will have witnessed the carnage of amputations and disability that these conditions cause when undiagnosed and untreated. Millions more will have struggled with the entrenched poverty and untold misery that are often the product of weak health and social protection systems. 

The 40 million people who die every year due to NCDs and are repeatedly referenced in reports are not just numbers on a page. They are people, with families and stories, and a right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. But accidents of geography and poverty are still tragically cutting lives short. 

As CSOs and people living with, affected by, or at risk of NCDs, we are all too familiar with the realities on the ground and the consequences of political inertia to people, communities and the most vulnerable. Collectively, we have had enough of political inaction and the glacial progress on NCDs. 

We are impatient for change, and we not only join the Commission in saying is it time for our governments to deliver, but that delivery on commitments is overdue and vital. If countries want to avoid sleepwalking into a sick future, the UN HLM must result in bold commitments and action.

Read full statement and list of signatories here


Mental disorders affect one in four of us over a lifetime. It’s a huge cost to our health care systems and to the global economy, and it affects some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Yet it is severely underfunded, leaving millions of people without treatment. In 2015, the world took a huge step forward by including mental health in the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what is next for mental health? And who will pay for it? With 194 countries signed up to the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 and mental health targets in the SDGs, now is the time to act. Those living with mental health disorders are often the most vulnerable groups in society and if we are truly to ‘leave no one behind’, as the SDGs seek to do, mental health must be prioritised in health policies and budgets.

Mental health in the SDGs:

Goal 3, target 4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and wellbeing.

Goal 3, target 5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.

Goal 3, target 8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

Mental Health now included in the NCDs - recognising the need for  increased attention to mental health

At the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in 2011 and 2014, multiple commitments were made by countries, and calls were made upon multilateral and donor agencies to support national efforts. Subsequently, WHO Member States agreed at the World Health Assembly to a 25% reduction in premature NCD mortality by 2025 (“25x25”) and then adopted a set of risk factor and health system response targets which, if achieved, would ensure achievement of the 25x25 mortality target. In 2015, the UN General Assembly committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a specific NCD target within the health Sustainable Development Goal 3, i.e. one-third reduction of premature NCD mortality by 2030 through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and wellbeing (SDG 3.4). These targets will not be met unless action is accelerated. Business as usual is insufficient and urgent. Actions are required now by all countries and all international organizations, especially UN agencies.


Dr Ruth Verity Passchier



Mental Health in South Africa

According to the World Health Organization, neuropsychiatric conditions contribute 12% of the worldwide burden of disease and is projected to reach 15 % by 2020. The pervasive neglect of mental health research and care in lower- and middle-income countries has led to the movement of Global Mental Health and a call to action for a decrease of inequality in mental health provision (Patel, 2012).

South Africa has a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, with an estimated 30% of the population having a lifetime history of at least one of the mental health disorder (Stein et al., 2008). There is a particularly high prevalence (13.3%) and early age of onset (21 years) of substance use disorders in South Africa in comparison to other countries (Stein et al., 2008). Cases of psychotic disorder could be prevented by discouraging substance use (particularly cannabis and nyope) among vulnerable youths (Arseneault et al., 2004). Local data suggest that stigma and misinformation regarding mental illness is wide spread (Hugo et al., 2003) in South Africa. False beliefs and misunderstanding regarding metal illness influence treatment modality and help-seeking behaviour (Hugo et al., 2003). 

To gain understanding of the local perceptions of mental health, common mental disorders within the communities, and treatment options.

Three group discussion were held in local communities in South Africa with Doc Mabila and Ruth Verity Passchier. Participants included community leaders, youth, and adults interested in discussing mental health.

Charlene Sunkel

The Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH) and the SA Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) as the Secretariat of the MGMH, hosted the 5th Global Mental Health Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on 8 and 9 February 2018 at the University of Witwatersrand, School of Public Health, in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Since the establishment of the MGMH, a biennial Summit had been hosted - the 1st in Athens in 2009, the 2nd in Cape Town in 2011, the 3rd in Bangkok in 2013 and the 4th in Mumbai in 2015, and now the 5th in Johannesburg in 2018.

The 5th Global Mental Health Summit was themed Leaving no one behind as per the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit incorporated a strong focus on the inclusion, empowerment and human rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, globally.

A total of 238 delegates attended the Summit, of which 55 were persons with lived experience (psychosocial and intellectual disabilities). The Summit delegation represented 28 countries from Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.

Persons with lived experience (psychosocial and intellectual disabilities) were exempted from paying registration fees – this was to encourage mental health care user participation.


The 2 day Summit proceedings were video recorded, and uploaded to YouTube:

·                     Opening ceremony

·                     Panel 1: Infants, toddlers and young children - affording them mental health and wellbeing

·                     Panel 2: Value of research to advance the social movement – the role of persons with lived experience in research

·                     Panel 3: Changing the culture around mental health, mental disorders and emotional wellbeing

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 4: Overcoming poverty through quality education and decent work and economic growth

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 5: Getting “creative and innovative” to achieve recovery and mental wellbeing

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 6: Persons with Lived Experience – the key partners in mental health and sustainable development

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 7: Empowering the youth to play a role in achieving the SDGs

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 8: Not forgetting the vulnerable groups

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 9: Deinstitutionalisation and community integration – a human right

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 10: Civil society's role in achieving the SDGs

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 11: Social movements giving a voice to persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Panel 12: citiesRISE – building global-local networks for practical action on young people’s mental health

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)

·                     Launch of Global Mental Health Peer Network

(Production in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)


·                     Recovery Stories/ Interviews

Matthew Jackman:

(Production of others in progress – will be available on YouTube soon)



Prof Pedro Gabriel Delgado

In the last 30 years, Brazil has developed a State Policy for people with mental disabilities that has gained recognition from the World Health Organization.

This Policy was responsible for the creation of nearly 3,000 community mental health services, redirecting financial resources previously used in asylums. Many of those asylums, in fact, violated human rights, as reported by the press and the State Prosecutors Office.

The Federal budget, which used to subvert the logic by prioritizing hospitalizations, now allocates 75 percent of its resources to outpatient services, that help men and women find mental health and happiness wherever it may be in the daily life in community.

Such services help avoid hospitalizations and replace psychiatric hospitals, with advantage, when they are needed. In the more structured Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS), that can have up to ten beds, people are cared for when on crises and out of it by the same team, in the same place, without fragmentation of care or loss of their identity.

Therapeutic residences offer housing alternative, supported by and inserted in the community to those with less autonomy.

This policy, which combines mental health and human rights with efficiency in public management, was born from the process of redemocratization of the country.

Its guidelines were agreed by users, family members and mental health service professionals at four major national conferences. It has gone through all the different managements in the Ministry of Health since 1990 and was registered under the Federal Law 10.216 / 2001 after 11 years of debate in the Congress.

The current Minister of Health, however, has made changes in the Brazilian mental health policy, despite contrary recommendations from the National Human Rights Council and the National Health Council.

The Minister proposes to extinguish legal mechanisms that allow transferring resources from asylums to new community services. And more: in a budget cut scenario, he wants to adjust funding to asylums, with an estimated impact of R$ 140 million, without adjusting the funding to any community service.

Worse, the Ministry proposes to allocate R$ 120 million for hospitalizations in therapeutic communities for substance users. These establishments, which deviate from the Brazilian Public Health System regulations, are a heterogeneous, deregulated universe, against whom complaints of human rights violations are pending.

Finally, the proposal brings back the financing of mental health clinics, which overlaps existing community services. The set of proposals favors hospitalization and duplicates services. As resources are scarce and decreasing, the result will be the scrapping of the community mental health network.

In the year 2017, the current government reduced the implementation of new Community Mental Health Centers to a minimum, paralyzing, in practice, the process of creating new community mental health services.

The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office questioned the legality of the proposals as they contradict the prioritization of community services, set in Law 10.216. The National Human Rights Council warned that the change threatens the fundamental rights of people with mental disabilities.

These changes cause serious damage to a State Policy supported by federal legislation, by the social control and globally recognized by its results. There is a long way to improve mental health care in Brazil, still, but the measures proposed by the current Minister takes us back to the past and away from an improvement course.



Domingos Sávio Nascimento Alves, neurologist, Mental Health coordinator in the Ministry of Health in 1991-1992 and 1995-1996;

Pedro Gabriel Delgado, psychiatrist, professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro,   Mental Health Coordinator between 2000 and 2010;

Roberto Tyaknori Kinoshita, psychiatrist, professor at the Federal University of São Paulo,   Mental Health Coordinator between 2011 and 2015;

Eliane Maria Fleury Seidl, psychologist, professor at the University of Brasília; Mental Health Coordinator in 1993-1994;

Alfredo Schechtman, physician, Mental Health Coordinator in 1997-1998;

Ana Maria Fernandes Pitta, psychiatrist, retired professor at the University of São Paulo, Mental Health Coordinator between 1998 and 2000;

Leon Garcia, psychiatrist, Mental Health associate-coordinator between 2011 and 2013;

And mental health workers from Brazil.


World Bank Ukraine

The preliminary findings of a new World Bank report –Ukraine: Mental Health in Transition—were disseminated recently in Kiev. The report was based on a comprehensive mental health assessment jointly conducted by World Bank and International Medical Corp of mental health with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. The report indicates that one-third of the population in Ukraine experienced at least one mental disorder in their lifetime, which is significantly higher than the international average. Gender differences with depression and anxiety disorders are more common among women and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorders among men.

Yet, most people (up to 75%) with common mental disorders and alcohol use disorders do not access adequate mental health care. Stigma and discrimination, fear of having a public record, and availability of services are major barriers. The mental health services are still centralized around psychiatry facilities, and the report recommends that mental health services be decentralized from hospital-based care toward outpatient care and community-based services, including integration with primary health care and other social services platforms. The report underlines the need for overall health reform in Ukraine and the importance of integrating mental health services into the reform.

In addition to improving the well-being of the population, investing in mental health will have significant economic returns. The report estimated that over 4.7 million years of healthy lives can be restored by the year 2030 with scale-up of selected mental disorders treatment in Ukraine. The economic value of restored productivity over this period amounts to more than $800 million for depression and $350 million for anxiety disorders, which means that for every $1 invested in scaled-up treatment of common mental disorders in Ukraine, there will be $2 in restored productivity and added economic value.

It is time to pay more attention to mental health.

Charlene Sunkel (on behalf of the MGMH)

Consultation on the thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13)

MGMH's response.

Third International German Forum

With the International German Forum, the Federal Chancellor has created a format for international exchange on globally relevant future related issues in 2013. In many countries, societies are facing complex social, economic and ecological challenges, such as demographic change, the digital revolution and climate change. German and international experts from different fields, sectors and hierarchical levels representing the political, administrative, business and scientific communities as well as civil society meet in the context of the International German Forum. They discuss approaches towards and ideas about these issues, exchange experiences and find possible courses of action. The Forum is a platform for discussing and spreading innovative approaches. The aim is to learn from each another through interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue. The idea for the Forum arose from the Federal Chancellor’s dialogue on Germany’s future conducted in 2011 and 2012, in which she discussed the question “How do we want to live together in the future?” with citizens and experts.

World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH)

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Day 10 October 2017, “Mental Health in the Workplace,” addresses the value of promoting well-being in work settings of all kinds, from agriculture to industry, finance, government, technology, and beyond.

Human Rights in Mental Health FGIP

On May 19, 2017, at the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv, Ukraine, a new report on the resumption of political abuse of psychiatry in the former USSR was presented. The report, published by the international foundation ‘Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP”, presents all the available data on the resumption of psychiatry as a tool of repression in former Soviet republics in the period 2012-2017. It lists more than thirty new cases, of which almost half in occupied Crimea. The other cases are in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The report is authored by Viktor Davydov, a former political prisoner and victim of political abuse of psychiatry; Madeline Roache, a British researcher and free-lance journalist, and Robert van Voren, Chief Executive of Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP.

The authors of the report believe that the world has reached a crossroads and that unless sufficient pressure is exerted on national authorities in the countries concerned, one can expect that in some of the former Soviet republics we will slide back towards a governmental policy of using psychiatry for non-medical purposes. The authors conclude that it is pivotal that serious efforts are made in the field of human rights education and the monitoring of human rights in closed institutions. 

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Report (2017) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report, mandated by the Human Rights Council in resolution 32/18, identifies some of the major challenges faced by users of mental health services, persons with mental health conditions and persons with psychosocial disabilities. These include stigma and discrimination, violations of economic, social and other rights and the denial of autonomy and legal capacity.

McPin Foundation & Mind

Driving Change is a report based on interviews with mental health Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) around the world written by the McPin Foundation in partnership with Mind. The focus was on mental health organisations that were user- or carer-led in countries across the globe working locally to raise awareness and improve services for people living with mental illness.



"Mental health and well-being are fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life. Yet currently the formation of individual and collective mental capital – especially in the earlier stages of life – is being held back by a range of avoidable risks to mental health, while individuals with mental health problems are shunned, discriminated against and denied basic rights, including access to essential care.

In this report, potential reasons for this apparent contradiction between cherished human values and observed social actions are explored with a view to better formulating concrete steps that governments and other stakeholders can take to reshape social attitudes and public policy around mental health."


World Psychiatric Association

World Psychiatry is the official journal of the World Psychiatric Association.


Official journal of the World Psychiatry Association, Volume 17, Number 1, February 2018


Access the Movement for Global Mental Health newsletter for August 2017 - CLICK HERE


Download the March 2017 issue of the MGMH Newsletter


South African Psychiatry Journal, February 2017


Read the latest Movement for Global Mental Health newsletter.

Melvyn Colin Freeman, Kavitha Kolappa, Jose Miguel Caldas de Almeida, Arthur Kleinman, Nino Makhashvili, Sifi so Phakathi, Benedetto Saraceno, Graham Thornicroft

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a major milestone in safeguarding the

rights of persons with disabilities. However, the General Comment on Article 12 of the CRPD threatens to undermine

critical rights for persons with mental disabilities, including the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of

health, access to justice, the right to liberty, and the right to life. Stigma and discrimination might also increase. Much

hinges on the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ view that all persons have legal capacity at all

times irrespective of mental status, and hence involuntary admission and treatment, substitute decision-making, and

diversion from the criminal justice system are deemed indefensible. The General Comment requires urgent

consideration with the full participation of practitioners and a broad range of user and family groups.

Cambridge University Press

Launch early 2015: Global Mental Health, new open access journal from Cambridge University Press; "aims to publish papers that apply the global point of view to mental health research...seeks to cultivate the emerging field of [GMH], and to provide a forum for the publication of the new perspectives and paradigms developing from it." Four categories of papers to be included: Interventions, Etiology, Policy and Systems, Training and Learning.

Information from the GMH-Map website 

Julian Eaton1*, Ritsuko Kakuma2, Alexandra Wright2 and Harry Minas

The Millennium Development Goals have guided development co-operation in the 15 years up to 2015, achieving some significant progress in the priorities on which they focused. As the framework for the post-2015 development agenda is negotiated, this article reviews the evidence for the place of mental health in broader development issues that have already been outlined in the run-up to 2015.


If mental health is going to be recognised as having an essential role in development, there needs to be a consensus on priorities for advocacy. Various key issues emerged from a survey of stakeholders in the Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH), leading to a Position Statement, which is now available for use by advocates. The priorities that emerged were increasing access to mental health services, and addressing human rights abuse, stigma, and exclusion.


Mental health is a cross-cutting issue, and including it in frameworks for action will increase the likelihood of achieving global priorities for development such as poverty reduction, economic development, improved health, and ensuring the most vulnerable in society are not left behind.

G. Thornicroft and M. Tansella

We have recently argued, based upon a thorough review of the literature, that in low, middle and high income countries and settings a balance is required between investment in community-based and hospitalbased mental health services (Thornicroft & Tansella,2009, 2013a, b, Thornicroft et al. 2013, 2011a, 2011b). Is this view supported by leading mental health experts  working in those low-income settings, where over three-quarters of the world’s population lives? In this issue of Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, two papers examine this proposition both from the perspective of clinicians and as researchers.

R. Thara, S. John and S. Chatterjee

The dearth of trained mental health professionals and the huge gap in providing accessible services in many low- and

middle-income countries have led to the identification of alternate providers of care in these countries. Community

mental health teams seem to fill this lacuna in some of these places. This editorial addresses issues of the need for

such teams, their composition, responsibilities and limitations. With adequate training, these teams are able to carry

out a broad array of tasks such a case identification, referrals, elementary counselling, family support and psychosocial

interventions. While these teams are generally found to be enthusiastic, they require periodic monitoring and support

with which they can well be a critical element of the mental health care team.

F. Kigozi* and J. Ssebunnya

Mental health care is receiving increased attention in low-income countries with the availability of a wide range

of effective evidence-based treatments for acute and chronic mental disorders amidst scarce resources. Availability of

these treatments and competent human resources enables the use of a variety of interventions at several levels of

care for persons with mental illness and makes it feasible to ensure observance of quality in the treatment approaches

that go beyond institutionalisation. However, unlike developed countries which are endowed with many and relatively

well-paid mental health specialists, low-income countries face a dire shortage of highly trained mental health professionals

in addition to several other challenges. In light of this, there is need to re-assess the role of the few available

psychiatrists, with a shift to new core tasks such as designing mental health care programmes that can be delivered

by non-specialists, building their health system’s capacity for delivering care, including supporting front-line health

workers through support supervision, raising awareness on mental health and patients’ rights in addition to promoting

essential research. This requires a fundamental paradigm shift from the current training for mental health specialists to a

public health oriented approach and providing incentives for community engagement

Catholic Health Association of the United States

Just Posted: Mental Health: Breaking Down Barriers (10 articles). This is the special theme of the March-April 2013 issue of Health Progress (Volume 94, number 2, Catholic Health Association of the United States).


Note from Kelly O'Donnell:

One of the side events at the WHO World Health Assembly this week was Promoting Global Mental Health: The Role of Public, Private, and Non-Profit Sectors. It was excellent and was organised by the Public Health Agency of Canada. One of the resources mentioned in the presentation on the role of faith-based organisations was the March-April 2013 issue of Health Progress (Volume 94, number 2). The special theme was Mental Health: Breaking Down Barriers (10 articles).
Furthermore, one of the articles in this special issue is Global Mental Health and Well-Being: Best Practices from U.S. Catholic Health Care by ROBIN CONTINO, LCSW-C, SHANNON SENEFELD, Psy.D. AND KATIE JANUARIO. A helpful feature of this brief article is that it discusses the Global (Comprehensive) Mental Health Acton Plan (which at the time of writing was still in its draft stage) with regards to how it is being applied/referenced, I think many of us can follow suit too in terms of describing our MH work in terms of the Action Plan.

Click the link below to read the article (lower part of the landing page)

Thinking Globally--Mental Illness: The Burden of an Unrecognized Illness


Vikram Patel & Charlotte Hanlon

Where there is no psychiatrist, 2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE

Mental illnesses are common and cause great suffering to individuals and communities everywhere in the world, but many health workers are more comfortable dealing with physical illness. This practical manual of mental health care is vital for community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers and primary care doctors, particularly in low-resource settings. This guide gives the reader a basic understanding of mental illness by describing more than thirty clinical problems associated with mental illness and uses a problem-solving approach to guide the reader through their assessment and management. 


Little Gems

Why tell our stories ?   - - - -

In this field, we often get bogged down in the detail. We find that  society is split into two, the people who have first hand experience  of special needs care in the face of increasing socio-economic strains  and those who cannot imagine a world like this could exist. This  document aims to provide a qualitative report on the impact we have  tried to create. This document also attempts to close the gap between  the two groups by bringing a sense of humanity in a field too often  filled with numbers. The names of our children have been changed.  
“Stories are never-ending journeys, hidden talents or suppressed memories, all waiting to be told.”


How can you get involved ?

Oak Haven / Little Gems is a residential home for children and young adults with special needs. We are a registered Public Benefit Organisation (Tax Exempted – section 18 A) and a registered Non-Profit Organisation. 
We are the last home on the spectrum of care centers. When other care centers can no longer handle the patient (usually because of aggressive behavior) we receive the child. We at any time have 30 – 35 children in our care. 
The children in our care have a full schedule that runs daily from 06:00 to 18:00 (then we prep for bed time) and includes soft play, sensory stimulation facilities, swimming / garden time, music , physical exercise, art therapy and dance therapy,  schooling at Flutterbyes and 5 meals daily.  
We do not get government support. 
Children who do get placed with us will in all likelihood spend the remainder of their lives with us as they cannot live independently so we provide the security to families that even after they are gone, their children will receive high level care. Our Facebook is constantly updated and shows exactly what standard of care we try to achieve, please visit our page at

Prof Anil Vartak

Anil Vartak has a PhD degree in Mental Health Economics. He has been working in the mental health sector for the last 20 years. Drawing from his own experiences, he is a staunch advocate of self-help methods for recovery from mental illness. He is the Vice-President of SAA, Pune.

Philip Renison Opondo

This book is a handy introduction to the practice of Psychiatry especially in resource limited settings in Africa. It covers the basic conditions one is likely to come across at the primary care level and gives practical hints on their diagnosis and management. Its pocket size enables one to carry it around as a quick reference and revision guide.

It’s easy and readable non-technical style makes it suitable for anyone interested in a basic understanding of psychiatric conditions and their management.

The e-book is available on Amazon (all platforms).

The print edition can be ordered from publisher by email to

Graham Thornicroft & Vikram Patel
  • Presents clear and practical information about how to conduct mental health trials in low and medium resource countries
  • Brings together the expertise of the world's leading researchers in randomised controlled trials
  • International author team provides a truly global perspective

Global mental health is a dynamic field of global health; a core aspect of the story which has led to its emergence has been the conduct of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating innovative delivery systems of packages of care for mental disorders in low-resource settings. Global Mental Health Trials brings together many of the world's leading researchers active in the fields of RCTs in low- and medium-resource countries and settings related to improving mental health care. It presents clear and practical information about how to conduct such trials in these settings, along with critical methodological and ethical issues related to such trials, learning from the positive and negative experiences of expert scientists in many countries worldwide who have completed such trials. This book serves as a valuable resource for practitioners in mental health - psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses nursing, psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists - as well as researchers in the areas of psycho-social treatments in mental health, mental health services research, and programme and systems evaluation.

Readership: Practitioners in mental health: psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses nursing, psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists, as well as researchers in the areas of psycho-social treatments in mental health, mental health services research, and programme and systems evaluation.

Prof. David Musyimi Ndetei

Acrodile Publishing Ltd is pleased to announce the release of the 2nd revised edition of 'Your A-Z On Mental Health'.The book covers a wide range of topics. It includes mental health disorders and how they are generally recognized and managed, covering the whole spectrum of life. It also includes description of subjects of interest in relation to mental disorders.


Besides describing those common situations, the book also addresses various approaches to the management of various mental health disorders and situations, by mental health workers but most importantly what they can do for themselves in their

homes and in mitigations against the costs and stigma of mental illness.


It is hoped this book will serve to demystify mental disorders, and in the process significantly destigmatize people with mental disorders and in the process allow them together with their relatives, to come forward and demand for equal treatment, services and rights from the health professionals, policy makers, and medical insurers.


This book is a must-read for everybody who cares for their mental well-being  and that of others.

You can order your hard copy by email to  or the E-Book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Prof. David Musyimi Ndetei

Acrodile Publishing Ltd is pleased to announce the release of the 2nd revised edition of 'Your A-Z On Mental Health'.The book covers a wide range of topics. It includes mental health disorders and how they are generally recognized and managed, covering the whole spectrum of life. It also includes description of subjects of interest in relation to mental disorders.


Besides describing those common situations, the book also addresses various approaches to the management of various mental health disorders and situations, by mental health workers but most importantly what they can do for themselves in their

homes and in mitigations against the costs and stigma of mental illness.


It is hoped this book will serve to demystify mental disorders, and in the process significantly destigmatize people with mental disorders and in the process allow them together with their relatives, to come forward and demand for equal treatment, services and rights from the health professionals, policy makers, and medical insurers.


This book is a must-read for everybody who cares for their mental well-being health and that of others.

You can order your hard by email to  or the E-Book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and .


Prof. David Musyimi Ndetei

Acrodile Publishing Ltd is pleased to announce the release of the 2nd revised edition of 'Your A-Z On Mental Health'.The book covers a wide range of topics. It includes mental health disorders and how they are generally recognized and managed, covering the whole spectrum of life. It also includes description of subjects of interest in relation to mental disorders.


Besides describing those common situations, the book also addresses various approaches to the management of various mental health disorders and situations, by mental health workers but most importantly what they can do for themselves in their

homes and in mitigations against the costs and stigma of mental illness.


It is hoped this book will serve to demystify mental disorders, and in the process significantly destigmatize people with mental disorders and in the process allow them together with their relatives, to come forward and demand for equal treatment, services and rights from the health professionals, policy makers, and medical insurers.


This book is a must-read for everybody who cares for their mental well-being health and that of others.

You can order your hard copy by email to  or the E-Book on Amazon, iBookstore,, and Barnes & Noble.


Prof.David Musyimi Ndetei and Prof. Christopher Paul Szabo

Acrodile Publishing  in conjunction with Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) wish to announce  a new book ‘Contemporary Psychiatry in Africa:A Review of Theory, Research and Practice' by Prof. David Musyimi Ndetei and Prof. Christopher Paul Szabo .You can preview this book by clicking on the link above.
   This book is recommended for
1.Researchers and practitioners in different areas of mental health
3.Postgraduate students pursuing various aspects of mental health
4.undergraduate medical students
5.Diploma medical students

6.Mental Health Organizations

Hard copies of this book can be ordered from publisher at

Digital edition is available at, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Fnac, iBookstore,, Casa del libro, e-sentral, Flipkart, Sony, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Graham Thornicroft (Editor), Mirella Ruggeri (Co-Editor), David Goldberg (Co-Editor)

Improving Mental Health Care: The Global Challenge

Graham Thornicroft (Editor), Mirella Ruggeri (Co-Editor), David Goldberg (Co-Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-33797-4
464 pages
September 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
AUD $145.00 / NZD $165.00 Add to Cart

This price is valid for Australia. Change location to view local pricing and availability.

What types of mental health care are right for the 21st century—in all countries, around the world?  What is the best balance of primary care and specialist mental health care for people with mental illness?  What is the best evidence for effective treatments and services?  Which methods are most suitable for answering these questions?  These are the tough issues addressed by this book. Leading experts from across the world bring their experience to bear in a series of chapters that set out the very best evidence in this field.  They present clear accounts of what is known, extensively referenced, with critical appraisals of the strength of the evidence and the robustness of the conclusions that can be drawn.

This book was inspired by the work of Michele Tansella on the development of community care globally.  It comprises four sections, identifying the challenges associated with providing mental health services in high-, middle- and low-income countries, then describing ways to meet these challenges. A section on new research methods to produce practical evidence is a novel aspect of the book. The final section addresses how best to deliver new forms of care, bearing in mind the human resources available. The chapters extensively cite specific studies to enhance the practical relevance.  Much of the cited research involves service users so their voice is heard throughout the text.

Mental health is rapidly becoming recognised as one of the leading global health challenges.  This book adds to our knowledge of the challenge and the solutions and stands to make a significant contribution to global mental health.

Leslie Swartz

A large Wagnerian grandmother. A great-aunt known as 'the Buchenwald chicken'. Shame and misery on the sports field. A club-footed father who disappeared to the golf course every weekend. How do these experiences lead to a career in psychology? Able-Bodied is a unique account of how being the son of a disabled man and the product of an eccentric family brought Leslie Swartz to a professional life working with disability issues. At the heart of this tale is a moving account of a complex, troubled, but loving father-son relationship, a relationship that spurred a lifetime of trying to understand and come to grips with what different bodies and different abilities mean for us all. With wit, compassion, frankness and irreverence, Swartz considers the challenges faced by families, academics, institutions and everyone trying to make a positive difference to society. Poignant and often hilarious, Able-Bodied is a tale of conflict, achievement, pain and triumph. It is a fascinating blend of personal narrative, anecdote and reflection on society, medicine and ethics.

For more information, or to attain a copy, please contact the author at:

BasicNeeds Ghana
This book presents pictures of the living conditions and conditions of care of people living with mental illness or epilepsy in Ghana.
This is a compendium of first-person accounts of the lived experiences of people with mental illness from across the countries where BasicNeeds operates -- Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Laos and Sri Lanka. It includes stories such as that of Kevin Isack: “Let me introduce myself. I am Kevin Isack. You could say I am young - sixteen years old. I did have some form of education, but not enough. I went to the primary school in my village of Mipande in the Chiungutwa Ward in Tanzania. I was there till 2006. Unfortunately, I failed in the primary school examination and did not manage to join secondary school. There are reasons for it, which I will come to shortly..."
World Health Organization
The new WHO report on mental health and development is a call to action to all development stakeholders - governments, civil society, multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies, global partnerships, private foundations, academic and research institutions - to focus their attention on mental health. The report presents compelling evidence that persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities are a vulnerable group but continue to be marginalized in terms of development aid and government attention. It makes the case for reaching out to this group through the design and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes and through the inclusion of mental health interventions into broader poverty reduction and development strategies. The report also describes a number of key interventions which can provide a starting point for these efforts. By investing in persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities, development outcomes can be improved. Development stakeholders who would like to integrate mental health into their agendas, policies and programmes are encouraged to contact Dr Michelle Funk, Coordinator, Mental Health Policy and Service Development
Graham Thornicroft
Shunned presents clearly for a wide readership information about the nature and severity of discrimination against people with mental illness and what can be done to reduce this. The book features many quotations from people with mental illness showing how this has affected their home, personal, social, and working life. After showing, both from personal accounts and from a thorough review of the literature, the nature of discrimination, the book sets out a clear manifesto for change.



Severe mental disorders include schizophrenia and related

conditions, bipolar disorder and moderate and severe depression.

They cause significant disability and are usually long lasting.

• Severe mental disorders affect more than 4% of the adult


• People with severe mental disorders die on average 10-20 years

earlier than the general population. The disparity is highest

in low- and middle-income settings. Most deaths are due to

preventable physical diseases, especially cardiovascular disease,

respiratory disease and infections.

• People with severe mental disorders are 2-4 times more

likely to die due to unnatural causes, including suicide, homicide

and accidents, than the general population. In about 50% of

those dying by suicide, a mental disorder was present. Many

lives can be saved by ensuring that people with severe mental

disorders receive treatment.

Abdallah S. Daar, Marian Jacobs, Stig Wall, Johann Groenewald, Julian Eaton, Vikram Patel,, Palmira dos Santos, Ashraf Kagee, Anik Gevers, Charlene Sunkel, Gail Andrews,Ingrid Daniels and David Ndetei

Urgent action is needed to address mental health issues globally. In Africa, where mental health disorders

account for a huge burden of disease and disability, and where in general less than 1% of the already small

health budgets are spent on these disorders, the need for action is acute and urgent. Members of the World

Health Organization, including African countries, have adopted a Comprehensive Mental Health Action

Plan. Africa now has an historic opportunity to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its citizens,

beginning with provision of basic mental health services and development of national mental health strategic

plans (roadmaps). There is need to integrate mental health into primary health care and address stigma and

violations of human rights. We advocate for inclusion of mental health into the post-2015 Sustainable

Development Goals, and for the convening of a special UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on Mental

Health within three years.

Pamela Y. Collins, Thomas R. Insel, Arun Chockalingam, Abdallah Daar, Yvonne T. Maddox

PLOS Medicine Policy Forum

articles provide a platform for health policy makers from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies.

Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integration in Research, Policy, and Practice

Citation: Collins PY, Insel TR, Chockalingam A, Daar A, Maddox YT (2013) Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Integration in Research, Policy, and Practice. PLoS Med 10(4): e1001434. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001434

Published: April 30, 2013

Summary Points

Mental illnesses frequently co-occur with peripartum conditions, HIV-related disease, and non-communicable diseases. Care for mental disorders should be integrated into primary care and other global health priority programs.
Integration of care for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders should (1) occur through intersectoral collaboration and health system-wide approaches; (2) use evidence-based interventions; (3) be implemented with sensitivity to environmental influences; and (4) attend to prevention and treatment across the life course.
Integration of care for MNS disorders with care for other conditions can occur through assimilation of activities, policies, or organizational structures at local, national, and global levels.
Plans for health-related development targets post-2015 should consider the tremendous burden of disability associated with MNS disorders and co-morbid conditions.
This paper is the first in a series of five articles providing a global perspective on integrating mental health.

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Funding: No funding sources were used for preparation of this manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Abbreviations: DALY, disability adjusted life year; GBD, global burden of disease; GCGMH, Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health; LMIC, low- and middle-income country; MNS, mental, neurological, and substance use; mhGAP, Mental Health Gap Action Programme; MDG, Millennium Development Goal; NCD, non-communicable disease; NIMH, National Institute of Mental Health; NGO, non-governmental organization; WHO, World Health Organization

Provenance: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Arts and Visuals

HimalPartner and Digni
New: Mental Health in Development Work: Compassionate Societies--This 12 page booklet by HimalPartner and Digni provides a good overview of GMH. It has an artistic feel to it, includes positive images from Nepal, and is easy to read, compelling, and oriented towards the importance of MH in development work. Available in Norwegian and now also in English.


GMH and NGOs: Working Together Well! (short version of a power point-plenary session, HimalPartner GMH Seminar, Oslo, 7 March 2014).

Note that several of the other presentations will be available shortly on the HimalPartner website. These presentations are excellent examples of the contributions, learning, and challenges of implementing GMH in LMICs.  Kelly O'Donnell

Dr. Harry Minas

CIMH Director Professor Harry Minas’ interview on ABC News Radio regarding the horrific conditions in off-shore detention centres in Australia.


GMH-Map, Kelly O'Donnell

Global Integration 3: Global Mental Health--Reflections on Past, Present, and Future
Friday 12 December 12noon-13:00 ET
Join us for an hour interview with Dr. Richard Mollica, a pioneer in global mental health (GMH) and trauma care (Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma), as he reflects on the growing domain of GMH--past milestones, current developments/challenges, and future directions. Dr. Mollica will also share about the 2004 GMH Action Plan (emphasizing recovery in conflict and post-conflict countries) along with his GMH text book and his recent manifesto Healing a Violent World. There will be time to write or ask questions. This interactive webinar is moderated by Dr. Kelly O'Donnell and Dr. Michèle Lewis O'Donnell and is organized by GMH-Map, a special project of Member Care Associates to further orient colleagues across sectors to GMH. To register, contact us with your name/affiliation:

Note: there will be an audio/powerpoint recording available online after this event: 

Giuseppe Raviola

Giuseppe "Bepi" Raviola is a psychiatrist with Partners In Health, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, working to integrate mental health services into global health care efforts.

"Did you know that in 15 years depression alone will be the number one cause of disability globally, above heart disease, cancer and HIV?"

Sangath Centre

"Our Stories"-Living and coping with Schizophrenia in India. The Community Care fOr People with Schizophrenia in India (COPSI) study. In Chennai (

Sangath Centre

"Our Stories"-Living and coping with Schizophrenia in India. The Community Care fOr People with Schizophrenia in India (COPSI) study. (

A recent study estimates that more than 170 million Chinese suffer from a mental disorder.
Listen to the the leaders of Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health talk about why this global mental health is a critical issue.
Personal story of Buyisa's experience with depression, Khayelitsha, South Africa


Grand Challenges Canada

There is a tremendous opportunity for  innovative solutions to increase the number of people who have access to quality care and to ensure the greatest outcome for each person reached. We support bold ideas to improve treatments and expand access to care for mental disorders through transformational, a­ffordable and cost-eff­ective innovations which have the potential to be sustainable at scale

Article, Journal, Online article, Policy, Website

Vikram Patel and Shekhar Saxena, Mary De Silva and Chiara Samele

A report on Mental Health Working Groups by Vikram Patel ,Shekhar Saxena, Mary De Silva and Chiara Samele as part of The Wolrd Innovation Summit for Health(WISH) 

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is a high-profile initiative that aims to promote and facilitate innovation in the delivery of healthcare around the globe.

- See more at:


WHO MiNDbank is an online platform which brings together a range of country and international resources, covering mental health, substance abuse, disability, general  health, human rights and development.  These include policies, strategies, laws, and service standards.  MiNDbank aims to facilitate debate, dialogue, advocacy and research in order to promote national reform in these areas, in line with international human rights standards and best practice.  MiNDbank has been made possible thanks to the collective efforts of WHO Member States in sharing their national resources, with a view to achieving better health and human rights outcomes for all.

The Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children

After years of fighting abuses against children on a country-by-country basis, Disability Rights International has gathered much evidence that the institutionalization of children with disabilities is a worldwide problem. Over the past 20 years we have documented abuses against children in over 25 countries in the Americas, the United States, Eastern Europe and Russia, the Middle East and Asia.  The dangers of institutionalizing children are pervasive and take place all over the world, including well-resourced, developed countries.  Disability Rights International is calling for an end to the institutionalization and abuse of children.

The goal of the Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children, is to challenge underlying policies that lead to abuses against children on a global scale.  One of the main drivers of institutionalization – particularly in developing countries – is the use of misdirected foreign assistance funding to build new institutions or rebuild old crumbling facilities, instead of providing assistance and access to services for families who want to keep their children at home. Disability Rights International will document the role of international funders in perpetuating the segregation of children with disabilities.

Click the link below to

Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia

Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia (MDRI-Serbia) is an advocacy organization dedicated to the human rights and full participation in society of children and adults with mental disabilities in Serbia. MDRI-Serbia promotes citizen participation, awareness and oversight for the rights of persons with intellectual and mental disabilities, and participates in development of mental disability rights advocacy and self-advocacy movement in Serbia. The organization’s special focus is on those children and adults who are at risk of or who are already residing in social and mental health institutions, since they represent the most endangered and marginalized group.

Click here to visit the MDRI-Serbia Website

Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association

Who We Are

Founded in 2003 by Keystone Human Services International, the Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association (Keystone Moldova) aims for the social inclusion of individuals living in difficult social situations, including persons with disabilities. Keystone Moldova is planning to achieve this goal through the following objectives:

  • To contribute to the improvement of the legal and regulatory framework of the social protection system for vulnerable groups of the population, including persons with disabilities
  • To contribute to the reform of the social care system for persons with disabilities through the promotion of deinstitutionalization and reintegration with families and community services
  • To support the development of community based social care services for persons with disabilities and other people living in difficult social situations
  • To support the inclusion of people in difficult social situations, including persons with disabilities, in typical community services, as well as educational schools
  • To contribute to the reduction of poverty of families living in difficult social situations, including persons with disabilities, by promoting their employment
  • To help change public attitudes toward people in difficult social situations, including persons with disabilities, to promote an environment of inclusion and equal opportunities for the development of all community members regardless of race, language, disability, sex, or age

In pursuing its goals, Keystone Moldova supports the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family to improve the regulatory framework for the social protection of persons with disabilities, with the goal of successfully implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and social inclusion.


Reports about the Republic of Moldova

 Posted by Gulbenkian

Reports about the Republic of Moldova

This series of document characterizes the reality of mental health in the Republic of Moldova.

The series comprises reports on the organization of mental health services and on the ongoing reform, which aims to integrate mental health into primary healthcare and to shift care towards community mental health centers. Jana Chihai is also sharing with us an epidemiological morbidity study and a review of education and training of staff in mental health in the country.

Please check the documents below:

Republic of Moldova Mental Health System Review.

Review of the Mental Health Graduate and Residential Syllabus in the Republic of Moldova.

Assessing Primary Healthcare Services in the Republic of Moldova as to the integration of mental health services into PHC.

Community Mental Health Services in the Republic of Moldova Assessment Report.

Review of mental and behavior disorders morbidity in the Republic of Moldova, 2007-2011.

Assessment of psychiatric hospital care services in the Republic of Moldova subordinate to the MoH.

Defining the package of mental health services appropriate for being integrated into primary health care.


There are currently two high-level discussions occuring within the United Nations structure that will decide the future of mental health within the global health and post-MDG development agenda.

1. The UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda


2. The UN High-level Meeting on Disability and Development


1. The UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Post-2015 High Level Panel of Eminent Persons will meet from 24-27 March in Bali, Indonesia. In this meting the panel will focus on financing and implementation of a new global development agenda. The UN, via it's online civil society portal called The World We Want, invites you to add your voice to the same questions the panel will be discussing in Bali. Add Your Voice!

The Movement for Global Mental Health encourages it's members to post to the website to keep mental health in the discussions.

Only a limited selection of civil society groups and interests are represented in the face-to-face meetings at the High Level Panel meetings however the UN has made serious efforts to engage the global population via the internet.

The Panel will submit a report containing recommendations to the UN Secretary-General in May/June 2013 which will subsequently contribute to the UN Secretary General’s report to the UN MDG review summit in September 2013.

Go to the website and register to enter the discussion.

Go to the Bali2015 conference discussion thread at

Click "Add content", and "Discussion" on the right side of the page


2. The UN High-level Meeting on Disability and Development

The UN High Level Meeting on disability and development aims to advance a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond and is expected to produce an action-oriented outcome document. The consultation began on 8 March and runs for three weeks until Thursday, 28 March. The final High Level Meeting will take place on 23 September 2013.

To participate, please visit the online forums, here, and post your views about mental health and the post-2015 development agenda.  You will also be invited to register here

The Centre for Global Mental Health (CGMH), a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Kings College London, recently launched the first of their quarterly newsletters. The CGMH will publish a newsletter every 3 months, providing information on the Centre’s current activities, including recent and upcoming events, seminars and courses; new CHMG publications and resources, highlights of the Centre in the public media and more general CGMH news.

Click on the following link to view the September issue: Click on the following link to sign-up to receive the Centre’s quarterly newsletter:

Roos Korste
Join, share, learn, discuss and network Worldwide: Updated list of 10 Online Global Mental Health Communities with, of course the MGMH. Examples, links, back ground information, screen prints, etc.

Blog Post

The Guardian

Global development podcast: why care about mental health?

What needs to change to improve outcomes for people living with a mental health problem in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in the developing world?

Sri Lanka has many people with serious mental health problems, exacerbated by the tsunami of December 2004 and decades of civil war. The country has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Yet mental health services are inadequately funded. Sri Lanka has only 56 psychiatrists, most of whom are based in Colombo and other urban areas.

But Sri Lanka is not the only developing country with poor mental health provision. In May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a programme to improve services for patients with mental or neurological problems, and people with substance-use disorders. According to WHO, most of the people affected – 75% of whom live in low-income countries – do not have access to the treatment they need.

Vivienne Perry talks to Dr Michelle Funk, who co-ordinates the WHO programme, Ananda Galappatti, who has worked as a mental health practitioner in Sri Lanka for 16 years, and people in Sri Lanka who have mental health disorders.

Source: Guardian

Public Mental Health

Santander lectures on Global Mental Health and Cultural Psychiatry.

Santander lectures on Global Mental Health and Cultural Psychiatry.

Three master-class lectures were delivered by Professor Villasenor-Bayardo on 17th and 25th April and 8th May. These were delivered in collaboration with Careif, an international mental health charity, and the Cultural Consultation Service located within the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, at Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Villasenor-Bayardo, from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, talked on an epidemic of Kieri, a cultural bound syndrome in Mexico affecting young children and their teacher. This lecture touched on the tensions between local government and health care organisations in responding to perceived threats to cultural heritage and identity, and how safe clinical practice can only be grounded in a rich ethnography and understanding of local indigenous beliefs and practices. Care practices are then humanised and more compassionate and personal rather than structured as technologies to be applied to a passive population.

Professor Villasenor-Bayardo then talked on Latin American Masters of Transcultural Psychiatry giving a philosophical and historical tour of the Latin American landscape, sentiments, intellect, and expertise. Finally, he presented Latin American, and specifically Mexican, concepts of death and dying reflecting how indigenous beliefs and attitudes to death make use of humour to cope with the existential dilemma posed by death. The humour and death concepts seem to   encourage familiarity and ordinary daily conversations in all age groups, including children, so as to promote a relationship with death that helps people to not fear death and to live to the fullest and become more resilient. The audience was particularly inquisitive about routine clinical practice and the level of resourcing for mental health care in Mexico, the role of the NGO sector and protest groups, and the weak position of the service user and advocacy movement in Latin American countries.

What this series of lectures showed was the common factors, clinical, human and organisational, that are shared in mental health care between Latin American and European countries, including local country differences in wealth and attention to the mind in illness, recovery and wellbeing. Global policies and interventions are often promoted to tackle basic human rights standards of protection and care. These do provoke anxiety about imperialist and reductionist and inappropriate models of care being imposed in resource starved areas rather than enabling a bottom up empowerment of local movements, alongside task shifting to tackle the local burden of mental health problems without reliance on an expensive cadre of professionals. All agreed that a concept of governance in mental heath care, making use of international human rights conventions, is essential to promote and progress change.

One of the ambitions of the Santander award is to promote intercultural exchange; we are now planning a joint degree, an anthology of writing on Latin American cultural psychiatrists, and of course, planning for the 4th World Congress in Cultural Psychiatry to be held in Puerto Vallarta in 2015.

Global Mental Health & Cultural Psychiatry

Global Mental Health & Cultural Psychiatry
The 2ndSantander Lecture
Masters of Cultural Psychiatry in Latin America

Professor Sergio Villasenor-Bayardo gave an outstanding second lecture showing how cultural psychiatry evolved as a discipline in the Latin American countries due in part to the many indigenous and immigrant groups living in close proximity, and the contrasting cultural influences in neighbouring countries. The relationship between Latin American countries, and the emerging psychodynamic and psychiatric sciences in France, Germany, England, USA in the 1900’s demonstrated similarities and contrasts. Previous leaders in Latin American countries proposed an approach to their practice that encompassed humanitarian and philosophical perspectives, and considered empathy, the arts, creativity, and the environment as relevant determinants of health and wellbeing and as powerful building blocks of cultural psychiatry. A phenomenology of schizophrenia was presented that, although unfamiliar outside of Latin America, provided a vivid and perceptive description of the internal world and dilemmas faced by people developing a persistent psychosis, specifically exploring how perplexity and withdrawal from the world replaces curiosity and wonder. The lecture included incisive observations and scientific breakthroughs from leading figures in Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, and Bolivia. Yet these contributions are little known given the geographical and linguistic distance that has to be negotiated for wider dissemination. The lecture was a testament to the vision of the Santander awards to bring scholars together with a mutual sharing of knowledge; in this instance the ambitions are to improve public mental health and wellbeing throughout the world. A Latin American organisation, the Latin American Group of Transcultural Studies or GLADET, was founded in 1951 with similar objectives. An anthology of writings published by GLADET and edited by edited by Professor Villasenor-Bayardo is being translated into English in order to share these profound insights into mental health, mental illness and culture with the rest of the world. This also is being supported by Santander.

This was the second lecture of three. The first lecture on an epidemic of a culture bound syndrome was given on 17th April.

Prof. Kamaldeep Bhui MD FRCPsych

President World Association of Cultural Psychiatry

Public Health Lead, Royal College of Psychiatrists UK

Subject:Mental Health Bulletin, May - June 2013
Send date:2013-06-20 20:16:17
Issue #:25


May-June 2013

WHO mental health Gap Action Programme assessment and monitoring in Panama

nullOn May 7-9, Tarun Dua, from the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Geneva, and Dévora Kestel Regional Advisor on Mental Health of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), participated in various activities related to the implementation of WHO mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Pilot Project in Panama.

OAS 10th Hemispheric Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors

The Pan American Health Organization participated in the “10th Hemispheric Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors” held at OAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 9


Declaration of Antigua: “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas”

The Pan American Health Organization provided technical support to the Organization of American States in the negotiation process of the Declaration of Antigua: “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas,” adopted at the Forty-Third Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly, held in Antigua, Guatemala, from 4 to 6 June.


Training of mhGAP facilitators in Nicaragua

nullOn 28 and 29 May, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in coordination with the Nicaragua Department of Extension and Quality Assurance (DGECA, for its acronym in Spanish), organized a workshop for "Training primary care facilitators in the implementation of the mhGAP". The modules selected were those on depression, alcohol and suicide.


Honduras: strengthening the mental health component in PHC

nullA project proposal on “Strengthening the mental health component in primary health care” was discussed at a meeting inHonduras, from April 23 to 24. This community mental health model to be implemented in the country is co-sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization and the Seventh-day AdventistChurch, with the participation of the Ministry of Health, the National University of Honduras, and Loma Linda University inCaliforniaUSA.


Workshops on technical cooperation projects among countries in El Salvador 

nullFrom 18 to 21 March, two workshops were held in El Salvador Citywithin the framework of Technical Cooperation among Countries (TCC) in order to plan the implementation of two projects.


Training of trainers in epilepsy 

nullA workshop for training trainers in epilepsy was held at PAHO/WHO headquarters in Argentina, on April 26. It was jointly organized by the League against Epilepsy (LACE) and Hugo Cohen, PAHO Subregional Advisor on Mental Health for South America. LACE’s President, Roberto Caraballo, was present at the event together with specialists from the provinces of Buenos Aires,Santa FeMendoza and the City of Buenos. 


Experts discuss tobacco products labeling and advertising in Panama 

nullPanama, March 5-7. Experts from all over the continent analyzed the current situation, progress and challenges of tobacco products packaging during the Second Regional Workshop "Packaging, labeling and regulation of tobacco products", according to the mandates of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The event was organized by Panama Ministry of Health and the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil, with the technical cooperation of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and Health Canada.



Guatemala and Panama: workshops on reducing the demand for illicit drugs 

Two workshops on "Strengthening national capacities to manage public health responses in illicit psychoactive substances demand reduction” were held in Guatemala (April 3-5) and inPanama (April 17-18). 


Mexico: mental health in Chiapas

nullChiapas, México, April 16 - A meeting for analyzing the situation of mental health in Chiapas was organized within the framework of the technical cooperation agreement between the Pan American Health Organization and Chiapas Health Secretariat. The meeting was opened by Chiapas Secretary of Health, Carlos Eugenio Ruiz Hernández; Dévora Kestel, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Mental Health; and PAHO/WHO consultant in Mexico, Enrique Gil.


State mental health week in Hermosillo, Mexico

nullHermosilloSonora, April 23 - A number of activities aimed at training mental health personnel of the Ministry of Health, were carried out as part of the “State Mental Health Week” inHermosillo.



Interesting Links  

  • Credits

    Editorial Committee: Jorge Rodríguez, Hugo Cohen, Claudina Cayetano, Dévora Kestel, Maristela Monteiro, Luis Alfonzo, Maria Florencia Di Masi y Martha Koev.

    PAHO’s Mental Health Bulletin is published bimonthly in English and Spanish.

    Visit our Web Page

    Online article

    in2mentalhealth Roos Korste

    Content: Brief country profile Kenya, overview mental health care Kenya, report on meetings with USPKenya, Mathari State Mental Hospital, BasicNeeds Kenya, Outspan hospital counseling services, AMHF (Africa Mental Health Foundation), mental health activist Sitawa Wafula, Tawakal psycho-trauma clinic for people from Somalia, Peter C. Alderman trauma project, and more. Info, links, few pictures, conclusions.

    In January 2013, I had the opportunity to extent my stay in Kenya, after providing a MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders) mental health and basic counseling training for a group of Somali nurses in Nairobi. After these 2 weeks training I arranged a couple of visits and interviews with people working in, or using/surviving, mental health services in Kenya. I wanted to meet the people I knew for quite a while via internet (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my blog) and I wanted to satisfy my curiosity. I wanted to get some insight into the mechanisms and contexts in mental health care Kenya. Find positive vibes, plans and developments. Fostering hope, but also knowing where one must start and invest, in order to achieve improvements.

    Report, Video

    Human Rights Watch

    Just Posted: Like a Death Sentence


    Human Rights Watch, 2 Ovtober 2012


     On the negative aspects of HR and MH in Ghana


    Includes a simple report and a full version of the report, plus a brief video.


    Note: It would also be helpful to see some of the improvements and positive aspects of care that are happening, including a report on the work of the Ministry of Health and NGOs like BasicNeeds Ghana.

    About Advocacy

    The time to change is now. Those are the words of the MGMH Call to Action. And the people to make those changes are ourselves. Our Movement is not about pointing fingers, it is about taking responsibility and taking action. User-led advocacy is growing in strength in low- and middle-income countries, and MGMH is proud to count several user advocates and groups from Africa and Asia among our members. We welcome you to share your experiences of advocacy by submitting an activity form, or to coordinate members around specific advocacy goals, by using our Forum page.