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 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 to create a kinder, healthier, more productive world.

We use our expertise in advocacy and policy to advance this vision and focus on four areas of strategic impact:

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

Health systems: Mental health care should be integrated across all health systems, as a vital step towards making quality, comprehensive and person-centred mental health services accessible for all.

Ecosystems: We will seek to shape the world we all live in to help promote better mental health.

Field building: We can grow the reach and impact of organisations working to advance good mental health for all.

Our 2024-26 strategy is an evolution, not a revolution. We’ve shifted our approach towards where we can make the most difference – advocacy and policy change

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.

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


Stigma and discrimination are rife. Problematic institutional care is prioritised over primary and community-based care. And many countries have outdated and damaging mental health policies and legislation – for example, suicide is still considered a crime in at least 23 countries. As a result, most people are denied their right to good mental health upheld.

In 2024–2026 we’ll push for rights-based policies and legislation, for the deinstitutionalisation of mental health care and for decision-makers to meet the goals and targets they set on mental health.

Health Systems

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.

In 2024–2026 – to help make high-quality, rights-based, person-centred mental health services available for all – we’ll push for the integration of mental health care across all health systems and policies, and for the expanded mental health workforce the world so urgently needs.

Image of school children and one teacher in India


Mental health is not simply a set of biomedical conditions, but is profoundly shaped by the world we inhabit – our ecosystems – and how we experience it.

In 2024-26 we’ll focus on where we can make the most difference to our ecosystem: the impact of our planetary crisis on mental health, on the particular needs of young people, on the impact of media and technology, on the lack of mental health data, and on the financial resources available for mental health services.

learn more

Field Building

The number of organisations and activists working on mental health has risen rapidly. We have exponentially increased the size and reach of the Global Mental Health Action Network.

During 2024–2026, we will continue to build the Global Mental Health Action Network as the world’s leading advocacy network for mental health – collaborating with its members and other partners to maximise our collective impact. And we’ll make sure the voices of people with lived experience are heard at every level of decision making.