Charlene Sunkel

The focal point of the Movement for Global Mental Health is to upscale services in mental health globally through an approach that involves scientific evidence and the protection and respect for the human rights of people with mental health problems and psychosocial disability. Striving towards achieving its goals, the Movement for Global Mental Health brings together key role players, from organisations to individuals from all over the world who unite and contribute their expertise, skills, experiences and passion to take mental health to the top of the general health agenda.

The Movement for Global Mental Health has grown into a reputable global organisation since its establishment in 2008, and owes its status to the dedication and drive of the Secretariat, Advisory Committee, members or member organisations. My predecessor, Jagannath Lamichhane, has taken the lead as Principal Coordinator for the past 3 years and ensured that the Movement grow from strength to strength. I am committed to sustain that momentum.

As a person with a psychosocial disability and working in the field of mental health and advocacy, I am very passionate about improving the lives of persons living with mental health problems and psychosocial disability, empowering them and giving them a voice to speak for themselves. My vision for the term (2017-2020) that I will be serving as the Principal Coordinator of the Movement for Global Mental Health is to work towards enhancing the voice of persons with mental health problems and psychosocial disability globally and where they can create valued partnerships with key role players in the mental health field to upscale mental health services and improve the quality of life of mental health care users.

During my time in office I would like to focus on the following activities as a means to realise my vision:

·         To reach out to all corners of the world and not to leave anyone behind – building onto the membership of the Movement to expand and create a more diverse mental health community that enhances the value of sharing initiatives and experiences

·         To strengthen the voice of people with mental health problems and psychosocial disability through joining them up with the Movement and create a platform for them to share their views, opinions and experiences

·         Continue to encourage sharing and dissemination of evidence based information, and showcasing innovation in the field, amongst members, higher educational institutions, Governments, policymakers, stakeholders, people with mental health problems and psychosocial disability, the media and the public – that adds value and guidance to planning of upscaling services in diverse settings globally

·         To emphasise the importance of protecting and respecting the rights of persons with mental health problems and psychosocial disability by promoting international treaties and human rights laws

·         To promote the Movement by expanding on social media by, in addition to Twitter, creating a Facebook page

·         The SA Federation for Mental Health to host the Biannual Global Mental Health Summit 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa with the theme considered, “Leaving no one behind”. I propose to bring in a strong element of empowerment of persons with mental health problems and psychosocial disability globally and how to ensure that they are key partners in upscaling of mental health services, among other related topics

I am looking forward to taking over the reins and with great honour to lead the Movement for the next 3 years. In advance, I thank you for your support and commitment. My “virtual” door will always be open should anyone wish to communicate with the Secretariat, for any comments, suggestions, ideas, submissions of articles, volunteering, opportunities for members, etc. The Secretariat will be based at the SA Federation for Mental Health in Randburg, South Africa, where I am employed as Programme Manager for Advocacy and Development.

 

Charlene Sunkel

Email: charlene@safmh.org

Telephone (work): +27 11 781 1852

Mobile: +27 79 8966 963 (also on WhatsApp)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investment in mental health services makes economic sense in both developed countries and in developing nations, such as South Africa. 1—4 The next question is: what is the best way of delivering mental health care in different contexts?