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New Global Fund strategy meaningfully integrates mental health

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New Global Fund strategy meaningfully integrates mental health

The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved its organisational strategy to guide the Fund from 2023 to 2028. The new strategy meaningfully includes mental health for the first time and so provides a significant step forward in the integration of mental health in HIV and TB approaches world wide.

The strategy – Fighting Pandemics and Building a Healthier and More Equitable World – includes the integration of mental health into HIV and TB approaches with several mentions in the text. Crucially, it recognises the need to ‘proactively engage with the mental health community at national, regional and global levels to ensure that Global Fund-supported and national programs become more responsive and accessible to people living with disabilities and mental health challenges and give greater attention to the numerous intersectionalities between these communities and those affected by the three diseases.’

The integration of mental health in the new strategy of the Global Fund has been the focus of sustained advocacy work by UnitedGMH and partners over the best part of 2 years; and builds on the evidence of years of work at the country level demonstrating why integrating mental health is so crucial to the health of people at risk of or living with HIV and TB. UnitedGMH research shows that the integration of mental health into HIV and TB programmes across the world could avoid one million HIV infections and 14 million TB cases between now and 2030.

James Sale, UnitedGMH Director of Policy, Advocacy and Financing said, “The new Global Fund strategy is welcome progress and now begins the hard work of ensuring that mental health is integrated within Global Fund finance, particularly within the 2023-2025 funding cycle and beyond. UnitedGMH and other civil society organisations across the world are ready to help make this happen.”

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Our research showed that integrating mental health and psychosocial services into HIV & TB programmes will end these co-epidemics at a faster rate, and in a cost-effective way. Read more.