The structure of the Movement is the joint responsibility of the Secretariat, based at the Global Mental Health Peer Network (South Africa) and the International Advisory Board, who act in accordance with the Movement’s Terms of Reference.


The first Secretariat (2011-2013) was hosted by the Centre for International Mental Health, University of Melbourne, led by A/Prof Harry Minas and Dr Ritsuko (Ritz) Kakuma. 

The second Secretariat (2014-2016) was hosted by the Public Health Foundation of India, led by Mr Jagannath Lamichanne.

The third Secretariat (2017-2019) was hosted by the Global Mental Health Peer Network, led by Ms Charlene Sunkel.


The MGMH is an informal international virtual network consisting of a membership of individuals and organisations who have a vested interest in global mental health.

The MGMH as an informal structure and not a registered entity, it does not have a bank account, budget or assets. The Secretariat plays the role of accommodating the MGMH within their organisation’s financial system in which any funds towards the MGMH’s activities can be managed.

The MGMH operates merely through volunteerism and are managed by an appointed Principal Coordinator, a Secretariat (an organisation involved in mental health where the MGMH is based) and International Advisory Board of professionals and experts by experience (mental health care users/ persons with lived experience).

The MGMH has a proud history of user leadership in the Principal Coordinator’s position, and aims to maintain this tradition.

Volunteers who are members of the MGMH get involved in activities and assist with some of the tasks that are assigned by the Principal Coordinator to help manage the MGMH.

The Principal Coordinator is the “face” of the MGMH and leads and coordinates the activities of the MGMH, whereas the Secretariat plays a supporting role that provides the infrastructure and resources for the Principal Coordinator to effectively and efficiently execute the activities of the MGMH and that aims to achieve its objectives and goals.


The Principal Coordinator is appointed by the International Advisory Board and serves a 3-year term in office, starting on 1st January and ending on 31st December of a year.


The role of the Principal Coordinator:

  • Is the “face” of the MGMH
  • Represent the MGMH at local and international platforms
  • Ensure that the MGMH and Lived Experience perspectives are expressed during engagement events/ opportunities
  • Promote the MGMH in any means possible and where opportunities arise
  • Build stakeholder partnerships
  • Manage and update the MGMH website
  • Source content for the development/ design the MGMH monthly newsletter via email marketing software
  • Add evidence-based resources to the website
  • Manage social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Respond to email enquiries
  • Organise and host the biennial Global Mental Health Summit, including raising funds towards the Summit
  • Appoint a scientific committee to help develop the biennial Global Mental Health Summit agenda
  • Produce a report on the outcome of the Global Mental Health Summit
  • Recruit membership
  • Manually approve/ decline membership applications
  • Source funding towards the website hosting and technical assistance, newsletter marketing software fees, and the biennial Global Mental Health Summit
  • Provide the International Advisory Board with quarterly updates on the MGMH
  • Convene at least 2 virtual meetings with the International Advisory Board (of which one could be in-person where or when the opportunity arises)


The Secretariat could provide the following type of support and resources to the Principal Coordinator:

  • Office/ work space
  • Communications (access to computer/ laptop, internet, telephone)
  • Support staff/ volunteers to assist with e.g. social media management, website moderating and updating, sourcing newsletter content, responding to emails
  • Sourcing funding and manage finances
  • Assist with logics of local and international representation/ public engagement
  • Promotion of the MGMH work and activities, and recruit members/ partnerships
  • Strategic guidance and support to enhance the growth of the MGMH


Finances of the MGMH

  • As noted above, the MGMH does not have a bank account, budget or assets, therefore any finances, payments for activities and hosting expenses of the biennial Summits are processed through the Secretariat.
  • The Secretariat, with the support of the International Advisory Board, is responsible for raising funds towards the activities of the MGMH, and with the understanding that the hosting organisation (Secretariat) is not responsible for subsidising the activities of the MGMH.
  • The financing of the biennial Summits is acquired through sponsorship sourced by the Secretariat and International Advisory Board, and need to break even in terms of funding income versus expenses of the Summit.

The Secretariat handing over to a new hosting organisation, may not hand over any debt incurred by the MGMH as of the end of its term in office – all debts must be settled by the time of handing over.



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