What We Do

We use our expertise in advocacy, financing and campaigning to advance our vision and focus on four areas of strategic impact to measure our success.

Our Work

At United for Global Mental Health, we’re concerned with lessening mental health suffering worldwide through the prevention, care and treatment of mental ill health and substance-use disorders. We primarily work on mental health but we also find opportunities to support those working on ‘brain health’ including neurological conditions such as dementia or epilepsy.

Mental health services have traditionally focused on addressing mental health disorders, but we believe it’s equally important to uphold the right of every individual to access mental health and psychosocial support – this is particularly true during emergencies and in large conflict settings.

Mental health campaigners and advocates – including those with lived experience – come from an incredibly diverse range of backgrounds. Mental health is influenced by everything from socio-economic conditions, gender and ethnicity, to sexuality and the attitudes and beliefs of individual communities. We therefore endeavour to work with partners who reflect this diversity.

Through our work, we amplify voices of multiple perspectives – securing and promoting platforms for communities to represent themselves, while seeking to identify and support the mental health needs of those most often marginalised in their societies. Central to this approach are international norms and standards, most notably the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This calls for the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people with disabilities, without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.

Our Strategy

At the heart of our strategy is a vision for a world where everyone, everywhere has access to mental health support, free of stigma or restrictions. Ultimately a kinder, healthier, more productive world.

We use our expertise in advocacy, financing and campaigning to advance this vision and focus on four areas of strategic impact to measure our success:

Rights: Everyone has the right to enjoy the highest attainable level of mental health.

Financing: Optimal finance is needed for effective mental health systems.

Systems: Quality, comprehensive and person-centred mental health services should be accessible for all.

Education: We can empower the general population through education on mental health – decreasing stigma and discrimination and promoting people’s rights.

In our 2021–2023 strategy we have set meaningful and measurable goals to advance progress in each of these four areas.

Image of two women discussing Mental Health on a park bench in Central London


Mental health stigma and discrimination are rife, and antiquated or poor mental health legislation and policies are still present in many countries, most people do not have this right upheld.

In 2021–2023 we’ll focus on holding decision-makers to account for the goals and targets they set on mental health.

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An illustration of a community group from China


To counter outdated attitudes to mental health, we need greater education for all.

From 2021–2023 our focus is to build the mental health community’s advocacy whilst increasing its impact.

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Image of school children and one teacher in India


At present, countries spend less than 2% of their national health budgets on mental health, and international global mental health funding is a tiny fraction of development assistance for health and other sectors.

From 2021 – 2023 our focus is to substantially increase quality financing for mental health, with a target of contributing to an additional US$0.5 billion.

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An illustration of a clinic in Ghana


Today, over one billion people around the world are living with a mental disorder, but many of them have little or no access to services or support.

From 2021–2023 our focus is to achieve mental health as fully integrated in government and donor health plans.

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