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Our Impact

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Our Impact

United for Global Mental Health was founded in January 2018 and exists to support and unite the global effort to promote good mental health. Through our campaigning, advocacy and financing work, we aim to create a world in which everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to in support of their mental health. 

Since 2018, we have worked with a variety of international and national partners to accelerate this goal. Below are a few of our highlights.

We raise mental health up the political agenda.

Every year World Mental Health Day brings together key stakeholders to highlight the importance of mental health. Since United for Global Mental Health was founded, we have made it a priority to increase the profile of World Mental Health Day: creating a unified moment for as many people as possible to campaign together; and persuading leaders - in every field - to mark mental health day and pledge to take action.

In 2018 we launched an animation with Aardman and Stephen Fry, along with the report of the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and the Sustainable Development Goals at the UK Ministerial Summit on Mental Health. In 2019 we created a short film involving a wide range of stakeholders from the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacina Arden, to the UN Secretary General: all of them speaking their mind in support of mental health. In 2020 we designed and helped deliver the “official” campaign with the WHO and the World Federation for Mental Health and delivered 24 hours of action: Move for Mental Health.

We influence global and national policy making and increase financing for rights-based services and support

In 2020, our launch of the ‘No Health Without Mental Health: the urgent need to integrate mental health in universal health coverage report put the spotlight on the links between mental health and universal health coverage (UHC). The paper shows the importance of integration, including the critical link of supporting parents’, caregivers’ and children’s mental health, making a clear case for this to be a priority on the global agenda. We also worked with the Friends of Mental Health at the UN to get mental health into the UHC High Level Meeting statement for the first time in a UHC event of this magnitude.

We advise on strategy and design and deliver events to encourage high-level political engagement in mental health

These include, including providing ongoing support to WHO; supporting advocacy efforts with the UN Secretary General (including the launch of his COVID-19 and mental health briefing); working with governments who have formed the Alliance of Champions of Mental Health; organising events and advocacy activities with the UN Friends of Mental Health group (a group of government missions to the UN).

We have designed and delivered high profile events at the UN General Assembly, the World Economic Forum, and the World Health Assembly.  We have provided strategy and advocacy support to the UK and the Dutch governments in the planning and delivery of their ministerial summits (such as the Ministerial Mental Health conference for the Government of the Netherlands in 2019) and will continue to support the French government as they plan the 2021 summit.

We support national advocacy and campaigning with CSOs.

We work with a wide range of stakeholders to, producing mental health investment cases for the Government of Liberia and the Government of Lebanon in partnership with Lion’s Head Global Partners. We also provide ministerial speech writing support, and advise governments looking to develop their mental health policy and programmes.

We unite a wide range of stakeholders to help achieve change and amplify the voice of people with lived experience

We have successfully built an informal coalition of global mental health experts, international organisations, governments and CSOs who are working together to ensure the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria integrates mental health within its multi-million dollar programmes in the coming years. We are pleased that the issue is now formally on the agenda for the French-hosted, mental health ministerial summit later this year.

We created and now host the secretariat of the Global Mental Health Action Network, a joint global community of mental health professionals who work together to advocate to improve political and financial support for mental health across the world, with over 1,200 members from academica, UN agencies, bilateral governments, and the private sector. It has three subgroups (child and youth sub group, financing sub group and communications sub group) to develop and accelerate joint up advocacy efforts surrounding each topic.

We designed and launched the Speak Your Mind campaign with civil society groups from 19 countries and international networks from around the world, pledging to secure meaningful and urgent action from their governments and demanding they invest in mental health. Since then we have run capacity building and planning workshops with partners, focusing on campaigning, advocacy, financing and communications, to strengthen in-country activities. We have hosted annual meetings to share knowledge and support one another, and jointly planned for global moments, such as for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and World Mental Health Day.

We work to improve independent monitoring and accountability

With support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and in partnership with Harvard, the Lancet, WHO, the Global Mental Health Peer Network and the Mental Health Innovation Network, we are currently working on the Countdown for Mental Health 2030 project. The project, launched at Goalkeepers 2019, will create the only global and independent monitoring mechanism for mental health and an annual report to hold the world to account for progress towards the SDGs and WHO recommended goals and targets. The project has begun by looking at child and caregiver mental health to assess the impact of COVID-19. This project aims to improve data capture and reporting to drive publicity and accountability.

Read more about our work in our 2020 review