United States

Certificate Training in Mental Health Policy and Research @ TC

Teachers College, Columbia University, January 9-13, 2017 at Teachers College

For more information: www.tc.columbia.edu/cps/gmhwinter

In collaboration with the Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge, UK, the Global Mental Health Lab at TC, is organizing a five-day certificate training Institute in early Spring (i.e., January 9-13, 2017 at Teachers College) where participants will develop skills to generate research and learn about ways in which mental health evidence-based practices inform and impact social policy. Specific focus areas will include, but not be limited to: understanding and identifying policy levers, impact writing, designing infographics for policy and message delivery, using applied practice-based sessions and culminating in a final day of outcome presentations.

Certificate of Training will be jointly awarded by Teachers College, Columbia University and University of Cambridge, UK upon successful completion. The institute will be conducted by the following experts:

Kai Ruggeri, Ph.D., Affiliated Lecturer and Senior Researcher in the Department of Psychology, Director of Policy Research Group at University of Cambridge

John Allegrante, PhD, Professor of Health Education at Teachers College, Columbia University

Helen Verdeli, Ph.D., Associate Prof. Teachers College, Columbia University, Director of Global Mental Health Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University

For registration and more information: www.tc.columbia.edu/cps/gmhwinter

2016 Summer Institute in Global Mental Health 

Teachers College, Columbia University

July 5, 2016 - July 10, 2016



We are delighted to inform you that the 2016 Summer Institute in Global Mental Health will be held between July 5 - July 10 2016, at Teachers College, Columbia University. This is a  6-day intensive training course for mental health and allied professionals and trainees working with populations exposed to severe adversities and trauma worldwide. The course instructors are leading experts in GMH: 

Peter Ventevogel, MD (the Mental Health Senior Expert of UNHCR) will train in the mhGAP - Humanitarian Intervention Guide (WHO)

Lena Verdeli, PhD, MSc ( Associate Prof. Teachers College, Columbia University) and Kathy Clougherty, LCSW  will train in  Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT-G).  The IPT-G manual will be disseminated globally by the World Health Organization this summer. 

For registration and more information: www.tc.columbia.edu/cps/global.

SYMPOSIUM organised by Fracarita International and UNICEF:

Mental Health Consequences of Conflict on Children
With a special focus on children in the Central African Republic

Fracarita International working together with UNICEF,, UN Agencies and NGO partners, is calling for international attention on the impact of armed conflict on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of affected populations, with a specific focus on children. Therefore, Fracarita International, along with its partners, is organising on the occasion of World Mental Health Day a symposium on this issue, with a special focus on the children in the Central African Republic.


The main purpose of this event is to sensitize the international community and the public about the consequences of armed conflicts on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of the affected populations. The event will convene a number of key stakeholders to review the impacts of the conflict on the well-being of children, with a special focus on the situation of children in the Central African Republic, and to share experiences on good practices in order to inform a way forward.


The experience of an emergency can significantly impact the psychosocial well-being and development of a child. Exposure to violence, accumulation of stress, loss of or separation from family members and friends, deterioration in living conditions, inability to provide for one’s self and family, increased militarization and divisions in societies and lack of access to services can all have immediate and long-term consequences for children, families and communities.

Terrible violence as a result of armed conflict continues to have a negative impact on children and their families in many areas of the world. Children have been killed, and continue to be directly targeted by violence, including rape, torture and mutilation. The impact on the mental health of the people affected is often devastating. People in extreme distress, especially children, often require special support. Stigma and discrimination can also add to the suffering, and the possible disability which can be associated with mental suffering often leads to social exclusion.

In the Central African Republic alone, more than 2 million children are suffering the consequences of the crisis that erupted last year. The impact on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of these young people is enormous. The impact of this crisis on the health and social services too is immense, adding to the vulnerability of these children who may not have access to the support services they need. However, it is also important to remember that not all children react to distressing events in the same way; children can also be resilient and able to cope with difficult experiences, given time and basic community support.

It is important to note that this conflict is just one of many crises that has huge implications for the psychosocial well-being of children and caregivers across the world, as well as long-term implications for stability in the world. Armed conflict gives rise to an alarming range of child protection issues and protection concerns, including forced displacement, recruitment and use of children as soldiers, sexual violence, family separation, arbitrary arrest and detention, and exposure to combat and the use of explosive weapons.

Responding to these crises, UNICEF and other lead agencies working on the issue of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) are guided by The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. The Guidelines are the official policy for mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies, endorsed by the leading agencies working in MHPSS response. Psychosocial support is a critical element in responding to the egregious violations that children are exposed to in the midst of armed conflict.


A range of topics related to the field of MHPSS will be addressed at the event, including:

    • An overview of the mental health consequences of armed conflict on affected populations, especially children.
    • Care and support to children and community members suffering from extreme distress. Findings from a recent review of the application of IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in the field.
  • Community-based psychosocial support, with a focus on supporting resilience; Psychosocial support through Child Friendly Spaces, schools and other community mechanisms
  • Mental health disorders and context-specific responses.


Leila Zerrougui
Prof. Zerrougui is currently Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. As a legal expert in human rights Prof. Zerrougui has had a distinguished career in the strengthening of the rule of law and in championing strategies for the protection of vulnerable groups, especially women and children.

Ted Chaiban
Ted Chaiban, Director, Programme Division (PD), New York: Mr Chaiban has had a distinguished career at UNICEF, serving in a number of leadership positions in New York, East Africa, Middle East and South Asia. In his previous role as Director, Office of the Emergency Programmes (EMOPS), Mr Chaiban has been dynamic and effective in supporting timely, streamlined and reliable responses to the growing number and scope of humanitarian emergencies around the world, while further strengthening UNICEF’s collaboration with UN and other partners. Prior to this, Mr Chaiban provided strong leadership as Representative in countries with large and complex programmes such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Sri Lanka.

Jacob Kumaresan
Jacob Kumaresan is Executive Director, WHO Office at the United Nations in New York. Earlier he was Director at WHO Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan from 2008-11 and President of the International Trachoma Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the leading cause of preventable blindness from 2003-07. He joined World Health Organization headquarters in 1992 where he eventually headed the Stop TB Partnership. He worked with the governments of Zimbabwe and Botswana during 1980s. Dr Kumaresan received his MD degree from University of Madras, India and MPH and DrPH degrees from Tulane University, USA.

Omar Hilale
H.E. Omar Hilale is the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations in New York. He is currently the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s configuration for the Central African Republic.

René Stockman:
Fracarita International’s president , Bro. René Stockman, PhD, has an enormous experience in the field of mental health and will address the issues on the basis of his many visits to conflict areas.


This event will be organised by Fracarita International, together with UNICEF, and with the support of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougi, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura.

A number of agencies and networks will be represented, including the Global Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support and the, ‘The World We Want’, the UN Platform on Post-2015 conversations, The Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) programme of UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Lead Agencies  

Fracarita International is an international NGO. It has built up expertise in mental health advocacy and services and provides education, health care and dignified humanitarian outreach in more than 31 countries. In 2007, it won the prestigious Opus Prize for its innovative and qualitative work with the project AHADI in the refugee camps of Kigoma, Tanzania. It has an office in Bangui, Central African Republic.

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. UNICEF upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programmes and National Committees.

Local filmmaker spotlights global mental health agenda

Bellevue Reporter Staff writer 
MAY 10, 2013 · UPDATED 7:08 PM 

When Patricia first met Jeff on the streets of Bellevue, he'd been homeless and living undiagnosed with severe mental illness for nearly 10 years. Though he had family in the area, they wanted nothing to do with him, Jeff somberly recounts for the camera.

“We live in the richest city in Washington state. If there had been a stray dog on the street, we wouldn't have left it,” says Patricia.

And so despite the reluctance of her grown daughter and family, she took him in.

Jeff and Patricia's is one of several stories explored in “Hidden Pictures,” a documentary, six-years in the making, about mental health care systems the world over. Many of the narratives hit close to home. The film debuted Sunday at Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF) and follows families in India, China, South Africa, France and Bellevue's own backyard. It's not the first time local director and filmmaker Delaney Ruston, has taken on the topic of mental health.