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Webinar Series



In April 2020, The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, and United for Global Mental Health launched a webinar series designed to provide policy makers and the wider health community with the latest evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and how to address it.

Since then, we have seen increased interest in global mental health more generally and so have expanded the topics covered by the webinars beyond just COVID-19. 

Questions can be submitted in advance by email. The sessions are recorded, and summary notes produced. Any questions please contact:


Every other week on Tuesdays at 09:00 EST; 14:00 GMT; 15:00 CET; 15:00 SAST; 18:30 IST. Each session is 45 minutes.


OCTOBER 27 2020 - Mental Health in the Media

Speakers include:

  • Yves Zuñiga, Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships, #MentalHealthPH, the Philippines 
  • Wannie Ngaujah, documentary filmmaker and journalist at Radio Democracy, Sierra Leone
  • Kari Cobham, Senior Associate Director, Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism & Media at The Carter Center, USA
  • Alex Bushill, Head of Media and PR, Mind, UK

NOVEMBER 10 2020 - Mental Health, HIV and TB

NOVEMBER 24 2020 - Mental Health For All with International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership 

DECEMBER 1 2020 - Mental Health Research with International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders

DECEMBER 15 2020 - Topic TBC



“An excellent initiative at this time of great need for focusing on mental health.” - Dr Shekhar Saxena

“These webinars with global perspectives sharing innovative practice and data come highly recommended.” - Sue Baker OBE

“Thanks so much for bringing us together to discuss issues relating to mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.” - Alison Brunier


If you’d like to share the series with your networks you can find suggested posts and assets here.


APRIL 7 - Mental Health & COVID-19 Latest Knowledge

Speakers included Dévora Kestel, Director of Mental Health and Substance Use at WHO, and researchers already reporting on the impact of social isolation; the impact of COVID-19 on serious mental health conditions; and the challenges of dramatic societal change and what to do next. 

APRIL 14 - Mental Health & COVID-19, Supporting the Mental Health of Frontline Health Workers

Speakers included Aiysha Malik of WHO, Beatriz Rodriguez Vega: University Hospital of La Paz, Madrid, Spain, Mohammad Elshazly: UNHCR Egypt, Cox’s Bazaar (Bangladesh), Eliza Cheung: Hong Kong Red Cross, China. Co-organised by Ananda Gallappatti,, Sri Lanka and chaired by Shekhar Saxena, Harvard.

APRIL 21 - Mental Health & COVID-19 Research

Speakers included Mark van Ommeran. WHO, Switzerland; Dr. Lola Kola, WHO Collaborating Center, Ibadan, Nigeria; Edward Bullmore, Cambridge University, UK;  Emily Holmes, Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Charlene Sunkel, Global Mental Health Peer Network, South Africa.

APRIL 28 - Mental Health & COVID-19 Funding

Speakers included Sarah Kline, United for Global Mental Health; Danielle Kramer, IAMHF; Rajvi Mariwala, Mariwala Health Initiative; Nasri Omar, Focal Point Mental Health System and Services, Mental Health Division, Ministry of Health, Government of Kenya.

MAY 5 - Mental Health & COVID-19 Best Practice Public Health Information Campaigns

Speakers included Alison Brunier, WHO; Pattie Gonsalves, Sangath, India; Taha Sabri Taskeen, Pakistan.

MAY 12 - Mental Health & COVID-19 Beyond Face to Face

Speakers included Ken Carswell, WHO; Ifedayo Ward, Mentally Aware Nigeria; Piers Gooding, University of Melbourne. Chaired by Shekhar Saxena, Harvard.

MAY 19 - Mental Health & COVID-19 People in Vulnerable Situations

Speakers included Katrin Seeher, WHO; Sudipto Chatterjee, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore and Parivartan Trust, India; Martin Prince, King’s College London; Víctor Lizama, Coordinator of the Team of Justice Facilitators of the Disability and Justice Program of the Mexican NGO Documenta.

MAY 26 - Mental Health & COVID-19 in Conflict Situations

Speakers included Fahmy Hanna, WHO; Ken Miller, War Child Holland; Deborah Magdenlena, IOM; Phiona Koyiet, World Vision; Peter Ventevogel, UNHCR.

JUNE 2 - Mental Health & COVID-19: Children, Youth and Carers

Speakers included Chiara Servilli, WHO, Zeinab Hijazi, UNICEF, Matias Irarrazabal, Chilean Ministry of Health and youth mental health campaigners Aimee Wade from Belize and Josiah Tualamali'i from New Zealand.

JUNE 9 - Mental Health & Human Rights in the time of COVID-19

Speakers included Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur on Right to Health, Akiko Hart, NSUN, Shantha Rau Barriga, Human Rights Watch and Innocentia Mgijima, University of Pretoria.

JUNE 16 - Stories from the Front Line: Innovations in Mental Health Care During COVID-19

Speakers included Alal Single Dora, Country Director of Thrive Gulu, Francisco J. Muñoz Martinez, Chile Family Therapy, Paul Fearon, St. Patricks Mental Health Service, Dr Wisam Aldhannoon Psychiatrist, IMC - Iraq and Peter Ventevogel, UNHCR.

JUNE 23 - Far From Home: MHPSS for Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

Speakers included Peter Ventevogel (UNHCR), Theresa Ombalo (WHO), Lynne Jones, OBE (Independent MH Expert & Activist), Rama Shyam (SNEHA), Guglielmo Schinina (IOM).

JUNE 30 - Workplace Mental Health 

Speakers included Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft (Kings College London), Enoch Li (Bearapy), Emma Codd (Deloitte) Sapna Mahajan (Centre of Expertise on Workplace Mental Health).

JULY 7 - Mental Health and Poverty Alleviation

Speakers included Dr Daniel Vigo, University of British Columbia, and Harvard Medical School, Adv. Liron David, Enosh, The Israeli Mental Health Association, Pooja Pillai, Project Burans, India, Cathy Conteh, Partners in Health, Sierra Leone and Dr Fizza Yasmeen, BasicNeeds Pakistan.

JULY 14 - How to support Patients and Caregivers 

Speakers included Jasmine Kalha, Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy, India, Aakanksha Kapoor, Minds At Play, Neevam Foundation, India, Santie Terreblanche, Deputy Executive Officer, Cape Mental Health, Andrea Alvarado, Clinical Psychologist, Ecuador and Spain.

JULY 21 - No health without mental health: integrating mental health into health systems

Speakers included Shekhar Saxena, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Githinji Gitahi, AMREF Health Africa, Devora Kestel, WHO, Akwasi Osei, Mental Health Authority of Ghana and Peter Yaro, BasicNeeds Ghana.

JULY 28 - LGBTQIA+ affirmative mental health practices

Speakers included Raj Mariwala, Mariwala Health Initiative, Bonnie Sepora, Open Hands Botswana, Michael King, Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry, UCL and Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion.

AUGUST 18 - Suicide and suicide prevention in the time of COVID-19 

Speakers included Murad Khan, International Association for Suicide Prevention, Chris Caulkins, Minesota Center of Suicidology, Michael Eddlestone, University of Edinburgh, Cassey Chambers, South African Depression and Anxiety Group

AUGUST 25 - The return to work and new ways of working

Speakers included Manal Azzi, International Labour Organisation, Aiysha Malik, World Health Organisation, Emma Jacobs, Financial Times, Poppy Jaman, City Mental Health Alliance, Charlotte Kirby, Salesforce

SEPTEMBER 1 - Substance Use

Speakers included Professor Alexander Baldacchino, St Andrews University Medical School and International Society of Addiction Medicine, Vladimir Poznyak, World Health Organisation, Olga Belyaeva, Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs, Nirvana Morgan, Network of Early Career Professionals working in the area of Addiction Medicine

SEPTEMBER 15 - Stigma and Discrimination 

Speakers included Sue Baker and Louise Brookes, Time to Change, Esenam Drah, Mental Health Society of Ghana, Charlene Sunkel, Global Mental Health Peer Network, Petra Gronholm, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London

SEPTEMBER 29 - WMHD Activities and Campaigns

Speakers included Ingrid Daniels, World Federation for Mental Health, Alison Brunier, WHO, Taha Sabri, Speak Your Mind, Eleni Misganaw, Mental Health Service Users' Association Ethiopia

OCTOBER 13 - Mental Health and Education

Speakers included Ann Willhoite, UNICEF, Paul St John Frisoli, Lego Foundation, Geoffrey Omega, Basic Needs Basic Rights Kenya, Johnson Tekay Hinneh, Liberian Ministry of Education, Sarah Kline, United for Global Mental Health