Putting Africa’s Mental Health Crisis on the Global Agenda
StrongMinds advocates for improved financing for mental health initiatives, addressing stigma around mental health, and elevating the voices of people with lived depression experience globally. Recently, we had the opportunity to advance these goals at three key summits.
UN General Assembly
At the UN General Assembly High-Level Global Health Meetings on Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention, Ending Tuberculosis, and Universal Healthcare, Rasa Dawson, our Chief Development and Communications Officer submitted statements calling for mental health inclusion in policy and financing decisions.
Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit
StrongMinds took the stage at the 5th Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a global convening of health ministry officials focused on mental health.
As part of the Community Mental Health workshop (sponsored by NHS England and the World Health Organization), CEO Sean Mayberry and Ceelo Hamusonde, a StrongMinds peer facilitator from Zambia, presented on the need for sustainable, community-based mental health systems that foster social support and connections. Ceelo received a standing ovation when she shared her personal story of living with depression, and her drive to help other women recover from depression as a lay mental health counselor in her community.
Key findings from the summit will be shared with the World Health Organization and participating Ministries of Health to inform future funding and policy decisions.
Global Mental Health Research Without Borders Conference
Dr. Roscoe Kasujja, Director of the StrongMinds Innovation Lab, chaired a panel on innovations in implementation science at the 2023 Global Mental Health Research Without Borders Conference in Washington, DC. The conference was sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, Grand Challenges Canada, and the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders and brought together academics, activists, and community change-makers in the global mental health space to exchange research and knowledge.
In 2024, StrongMinds will continue its advocacy efforts. We envision a future where everyone has access to the mental healthcare they need.0