The world has already been living through a mental health crisis that only became more apparent when the pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe. And even though we are getting a little sense of normalcy back, many are left to deal with the remaining residue of the pandemic. Whether you were among those who caught the virus, lost a loved one, or those who underwent severe mental distress because of it, all what you went through is valid, and very much real.
We are collectively facing a global mental health burden, and yet there are many who are still oblivious about the severity of mental illness and the significant consequences it entails. But the same way we have people who lack any sense of awareness, we also have those who acknowledge that immediate action is necessary to relieve this burden and even save lives. In 2018, different countries and governments began working together in order to diminish the stigma and work towards providing mental health care to those in need. The first Global Ministerial Mental Summit was held in London in 2018, where world leaders met to learn from each other and discuss ways to collaborate in the fight against mental illness.
“I hope this inaugural global summit can play a central role in changing the story for millions of people around the world experiencing mental illness. This is the next step in a journey to a new level of co-operation between nations so that we can improve people’s access to evidence-based services and bear down on stigma and other factors that are exacerbating this crisis.” - Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt
This year, The Global Mental Health Summit will take place on the 5th and 6th of October in Paris, France, where a variety of professionals, policy makers, international organizations and foundations will be attending. At the core of the summit lies the need to foster discussions about mental health and work on improving mental health practices. With the title this year being “Mind Our Rights, Now!”, the summit is said to tackle two instrumental topics:
- Integrating mental health in health
There is a hidden pandemic looming over so many people across the globe and it is crucial to be aware of it and address the consequences that come with it. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of many, and organizations and governments should work on integrating mental health in all health institutions. Because there is no such thing as health without mental health.
There is no health without mental health.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 15, 2021
As we continue fighting #COVID19 together, let's remember to take care of our mental health & support one another.
- Innovative practices for mental health rights
In order for mental health to be given the importance and attention it deserves, initiatives and innovative practices should be utilized to promote the respect of rights in mental health. Having rights in mental health services reflects that mental health is a major topic that requires our utmost attention. The summit also aims to introduce innovative ways to improve mental health practices.
Read this important editorial in @TheBJPsych about the role of psychiatrists in promoting rights based approaches in mental health & collaborating with @WHO #QualityRights. Also a focus of discussions next week at the Global Summit on #mentalhealth @RMinghui https://t.co/QVxB1q46AS— Michelle Funk (@MichelleFunk3) September 30, 2021
The world is beginning to see the severity of mental illness and the necessity to start working towards real and actual change. These summits serve as a great way to start the conversation and shed light on what can be done to move forward.
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