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Global Mental Health Action Network: Highlights

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Our Highlights

Members of The Global Mental Health Action Network are united in a shared mission to protect the right to good mental health and work together to advocate to improve political and financial support for mental health across the world. With over 1,000 engaged members from 90 countries, the membership consists of academia, governments, UN agencies, the private sector, and civil society, these are some of our highlights from our work.

Network Meeting 2021

The Network held its second virtual members meeting in June 20201, with a series of panel events and workshops held over two days. The meeting included events hosted by the working groups, Network Secretariat and Network members. Throughout the week of the Network meetings, a series of blogs were published from members including: the American Museum of Natural History; Batyr; SDG2030 and Mariwala Health Initiative

World Health Assembly 2021

Ahead of the 74th World Health Assembly, Network members shared their views on what they wanted to see at the meeting. The Network Secretariat produced a briefing to explain the opportunities to engage with the meeting, a communications toolkit and a guide for advocates on the updated WHO Comprehensive Action Plan. The Network Financing working group produced a statement to the World Health Assembly.

Mental Health for All Webinars

In May 2021 the Network hosted the #MHForAll webinar series, focusing on the state of mental health. This included a webinar on ‘the state of mental health financing’ and ‘mental health and the World Health Assembly.

Advocating for mental health financing at the Spring meetings

For the 2021 meetings the Network Secretariat produced a briefing to explain the opportunity at hand, as well as encouraging members to engage with this global moment. This briefing worked with a policy paper making the case for governments, and specifically finance ministries, to invest in mental health, as well as a guide for advocating to Ministries to invest in Mental Health produced by the financing working group.

Global Mental Health Advocacy Roadmap

The Roadmap is a working document that sets out key dates and key thematic areas in global mental health to promote joint action on mental health advocacy. The document aims to generate increased political and financial support,  reduced stigma and better policies and practice.

World Mental Health Day 2020

A temporary working group was established to engage members around World Mental Health Day 2020. The group  created a communications toolkit, an events calendar and hosted an event with Devex entitled ‘Delivering Mental Health care for all: Why investment now is crucial.’

Devex Content Series

The Network developed a diverse content series in partnership with Devex to share thought leadership from within the network. These included ‘why mental health integration in HIV and TB programs is a win-win’ by Ren Minghui, WHO and Shannon Hader, UNAIDS; ‘the critical need for finance to unlock better mental health’ by the financing working group; and ‘why integrating mental health into UHC is key to ensuring human rights’ by Shekhar Saxena and Elisha London, United for Global Mental Health.


Network Biannual Meeting September/October 2020

The Network held its first virtual members meeting with a series of events and engagements over five weeks. The meeting included panel events and workshops hosted by the working groups and Network Secretariat.

United Nations General Assembly 2020

A temporary working group was established to engage members around UNGA. The group developed a briefing document focusing on the linkages with mental health and SDGs, to assist with member’s advocacy around UNGA events. The Network also hosted an UNGA side event with Devex entitled  ‘Achieving the SDGs: Delivering Mental Health for All’.

COVID-19 response

As the majority of the world began to shut down with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Network continued to support members. A library of COVID-19 and mental health resources were compiled for members, with resources from the UN, WHO and Network members. In addition to this, the Network supported a weekly webinar series led by Lancet Psychiatry and United for Global Mental Health.

Network Biannual Meeting February 2020

The meeting in Kenya was attended by over 100 people, with workshops and panel discussions spanning a busy two day agenda. During this meeting there were sessions on MHPSS, UHC, financing and child and youth mental health. Grand Challenges Canada funded a group of youth mental health advocates to travel to Kenya to take part in the meeting.

Davos 2020

In January 2020 the Network focused its attention on advocating for mental health investment at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, creating a communications toolkit for members to advocate on social media, and a policy brief on the state of Global Mental Health which was circulated at the meeting.