MGMH and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

As the 2015 target date for the UN's Millennium Development Goals approaches, it is time to consider the post-2015 development agenda and build consensus on the role of mental health in the future of development. This session also discussed the future organisation of MGMH.

The Structure of MGMH – Results of Membership Survey

The Movement for Global Mental Health is currently an international network of approximately 4000 health professionals, policy makers, academics, service users, carers, NGOs, students, and others with an interest in global mental health. As the Secretariat for MGMH, the Global and Cultural Mental Health at the University of Melbourne conducted an online survey of the entire MGMH membership in order to attain membership input on the governance and organisation of the Movement. The survey included questions regarding the stated aims of MGMH and the options available for the future organisation of the Movement. The options provided included information about the benefits and challenges associated with each. The results of this survey will be presented for discussion and to inform decision-making regarding the future of MGMH.

Alexandra Wright

Global and Cultural Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Alex Wright is currently a Research Assistant at the Global and Cultural Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, and is the Managing Editor for the International Journal of Mental Health Systems. Alex completed her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and her MSc in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford. Before arriving in Melbourne Alex held multiple Research Assistant positions and was most recently an intern, and subsequently a consultant, for the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Human Security and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The likelihood that mental health will receive more attention, political commitment and financial resources in the future than it has in the past will depend to a significant extent on the discussions that are now occurring within the United Nations (UN) that will shape the post-2015 development agenda. The UN High Level Panel Report on the post-2015 development agenda did not mention mental disorders. In the vision and framework chapter of the Panel report it is noted that "it is now possible to leave no one behind – to give every child a fair chance in life, and to achieve a pattern of development where dignity and human rights become a reality for all, where an agenda can be built around human security." This presentation will explore the UN concept of human security and whether this is an entry point for mental health into the post-2015 development agenda.

A/Prof Harry Minas

Global and Cultural Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia; Head of MGMH Secretariat.

A/Prof Harry Minas is the Director for the Global and Cultural Mental Health at the University of Melbourne; Director of the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit; Director of the International Observatory on Mental Health Systems; and Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Research and Training in Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the University of Melbourne. A/Prof Minas is also the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Systems, and holds numerous international honorary positions. He has published over 100 journal articles and many books and book chapters.

MGMH and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The current time-frame for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an end in 2015, and the process of consensus-building around the post-2015 development agenda has begun in earnest.  Many organisations with an interest in international development have started to effectively advocate in the co-ordinated process that will inform the content of the next phase of MDGs. This process is under way, with the UN now asking for input, and the initial ideas taking shape.

The 2000–2015 MDGs did not include a specific mention of mental health. Within the Global Mental Health community, there were divergent views on the impact that not being mentioned in a specific MDG had. However, most would agree that it is important for the profile of mental health to be raised in the global development agenda, even if it is most appropriately included in a cross-section of sectors in development, rather than being taken forward as a single vertical issue.

After stakeholder input, some consensus has now been gained on priority issues for the global mental health community. Now we need to think strategically about how to advocate effectively for the inclusion of these ideas.

Dr Julian Eaton

Mental Health Advisor, CBM International

Dr Eaton is a psychiatrist and a mental health advisor for CBM in West Africa. His task is to support projects that include community mental health in their work, some community-based rehabilitation and some specialist psychosocial health services. Dr Eaton works with stakeholders including service users in psychosocial health services to help them advocate more effectively, and supports governments to improve their policies and the implementation of those policies. Dr Eaton and his wife Polly came to Africa after completing specialist training in the UK, and began in southeast Nigeria, working with a local psychosocial health project.