The 2020 WHO Mental Health Forum #12 took place online on October 8. It provided an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to get an overview of mental health aspects of COVID-19 and the challenges and opportunities it has brought to mental health, both globally and locally. COVID-19 has exposed the limitations of existing mental health systems and has made it clear that we cannot maintain the status quo. Our Chair represented DAI at this important forum.
The theme for the 2020 Mental Health Forum was the changing landscape of global mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This theme reflected the urgent need for action on mental health as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. At the forum, speakers discussed:
- Global and country-level actions by governments
- civil society and academia to respond to mental
- neurological and substance use needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advocates and policymakers across the globe showed that mental health can never be in the shadows and should be in the center of any emergency and post-emergency, recovery response. During the forum this year, we will review the progress in positioning mental health in COVID-19 response agenda and beyond. We learned about ongoing and new initiatives and discuss ways to enhance action in countries.
They also discussed a wide range of COVID-19 Mental Health products and actions developed and implemented by WHO and partners to support affected people. Speakers also discussed how WHO and inter-agency tools are supporting the implementation of mental health interventions in different age groups and across different settings, and how we can do better together.
The current pandemic has made evident that reliance on outdated mental health systems is no longer an option. Promising initiatives by countries and agencies have shown that it is feasible to make a difference through innovation during the most challenging times.
Following the forum, this invitation was received to get involved on World Mental Health Day:
Message sent on behalf of Ms Dévora Kestel, Director, WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use
Dear WHO Mental Health Forum 2020 Participant,
On World Mental Health Day, WHO will be hosting, for the first time, an online global advocacy event on mental health. Join WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, national and international leaders and celebrity guests to talk about what we can all do to improve our mental health and how we can help make sure that quality mental health care is available to everyone who needs it. During the 3-hour event, video features will be interspersed with personal testimonies and performances from celebrities and advocates from around the world.
How to get involved
- Promote the Big Event through your networks and on social media. Share the Big Event posts on WHO social media channels:Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; and TikTok Here’s an example https://twitter.com/WHO/
- Watch the Big Event on 10 October through one of these links Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; YouTube or TikTok (no registration required).
Join our social media campaign
How to get involved
- If you are on social media, share a video showing what you do for your own mental well-being, including the hashtag #MoveForMentalHealth. Take a look at our own video to give you some ideas: https://twitter.com/DrTedros/
status/1314109079523033089 ! Ask your friends to take part too.
- Look out for our posts on social media explaining why it is so important to invest in mental health. Share widely. And create your own!
Thank you for your support.
#MoveForMentalHealth: let’s invest
Mental Health and Substance Use Department
World Health Organization