The Movement for Global Mental Health

The Movement for Global Mental Health
aims to improve services for people with mental disorders worldwide

The Movement for Global Mental Health

there is no sustainable development without mental health

The Movement for Global Mental Health

together we can change the world

Movement for Global Mental Health

We use the term global mental health to refer to the mental health of individuals in countries all around the world, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.

In talking about mental health, we also find ourselves talking about its inverse, often referred to in this website as mental disorders. We use the term mental disorders to refer to mental, neurological, or substance use disorders, as well as psycho-social disabilities. We recognize that the term mental disorders comes from a public health vocabulary, and we welcome any preferred alternatives in the discussion forums on this site.

Mental disorders include, among other illnesses, depression, anxiety, other affective disorders (often referred to as common mental disorders, because of their frequency) schizophrenia, bipolar and other forms of psychosis-related illnesses (often called severe mental disorders). They also include intellectual disabilities, neurological disorders such as epilepsy and dementia and  alcohol and drug abuse disorders. Manifestations of mental disorders vary across different cultural contexts and approaches to their prevention, detection and management can also vary accordingly. 

The focus of the Movement is not, however, only on the treatment of mental disorders, but also on their prevention and on the promotion of mental wellbeing.

Hosts of MGMH Secretariat, 2020-22: The Banyan Academy of Leadership and Mental Health (BALM), India

It gives us immense pleasure here at The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health to host the Movement for Global Mental Health from 2020-2022. BALM is a sister concern of The Banyan, a not-for-profit organisation based in Chennai, India. The Banyan, founded in 1993 works with persons who are vulnerable, homeless, or entrenched in structural inequalities offering comprehensive mental health and social care solutions by creating a space for healing, personal recovery and actualising valued social roles. We work in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra in India, servicing a population of 1 million low-income households and homeless people through a range of approaches from acute hospital-based care to inclusive housing. Our focus is on transformative social justice to ensure that those who are systematically marginalised are able to reclaim their agency and space to participate socially, economically, and culturally.

Over 3000 women and men with histories of aggregated oppression have, through our Emergency Care and Recovery Centre, accessed mental health treatment, restructured their futures to one that functions on their terms, gone back to families, found partners; become leaders, friends, and teachers. 400 have set up 80 homes across Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra through independent and supported living options through our Home Again program. The Lancet Commission cited this as one among three models across the world offering robust long-term care options for persons with mental health issues.

BALM was established in 2007 to employ evidence-based mental health services in low-resource settings, and drive progressive policy change. BALM runs master’s and diploma courses in institutional mental healthcare; poverty and mental health; and conducts research to improve the program outcomes for people with mental health issues living in poverty and homelessness. 

The collaboration with the Movement for Global Mental Health is our opportunity to tap into a global shared community, one that values the human right of every individual to a life free of ​stigma, marginalisation, and feelings of otherness, especially given the unique institutional and structural barriers to this life that each country in the world presents. We are excited to share in this knowledge and learn from our peers around the world. 

We would like to begin by thanking Charlene Sunkel, our predecessor, for all her support and creative inputs in the past 6 months. Charlene worked to strengthen lived experience voices globally and encourage partnerships between persons with lived experience and professionals, researchers, policymakers. This resulted in setting up the Global Mental Health Peer Network (GMHPN), launched in 2018 at the MGMH’s 5th Global Mental Health Summit held in South Africa. GMHPN now operates as an independent non-profit, and the partnership between the MGMH and the GMHPN creates a more extensive, globally diverse mental health community.  During our tenure, we will build on Charlene's work, and bring new voices from the Global South that will further contribute to the diversity and richness of the movement, foster transdisciplinary collaborations, and build support networks that will help create inclusive ecosystems for persons with psychosocial needs.

From the MGMH Secretariat at BALM. 

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Volunteer Network

The MGMH appreciates the time and contributions from volunteers, who often assist with various activities, including:

  • Moderate the MGMH website and inform the Principal Coordinator of any irregularities or malfunctions in relation to the website
  • Source content/ write articles for the MGMH website, newsletter, social media
  • Add evidence-based resources to the website
  • Recruit members through promoting the MGMH
  • Assist with email enquiries – respond and refer to relevant resources
  • Identify potential funders for the MGMH activities
  • Assist with the planning and hosting of the biennial Global Mental Health Summit

Volunteers are now able to register with the MGMH Volunteer Network and find local and international events and opportunities to offer volunteer services. Just click on “Register as volunteer” on the Home Page, and in an instance, you are registered and can visit the Volunteer Portal to check out what opportunities are available.

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