Dr. Judy Kuriansky, the Main representative of the International Association of Applied Psychology and the World Council of Psychotherapy to the United Nations, past President of the Psychology Coalition of NGOs accredited at the UN, professor of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University Teachers College will give a report on “Mental health and Wellbeing: Advances at the United Nations Global Agenda and in Civil Society Initiatives, Importance and Impact Worldwide” within the framework of the II Congress on Mental Health: Meeting the Needs of the XXI Century.
THE REPORT SUMMARY:
Monumental and historical steps have been accomplished on the global stage, now that mental health and wellbeing (MHWB) has been included as a target in the global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals, and psychosocial recovery is noted in the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The current presenter had a major role in that success, and in organizing many events and projects for the follow-up promotion of mental health and well-being with governments, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, media, youth and civil society. This presentation covers the next steps that have been, will be, and can be, taken to continue in the promotion of MHWB worldwide, given that mental health professionals now have new opportunities to advance their work and contributions of the field.
Examples include: (1) Getting support for programmes on the ground that show the implementation of MHWB “on the ground”, that can serve as best practices and be scaled up; (2) Encouraging governments to focus on promoting MHWB for their voluntary national reviews that take place at the UN; (3) Establishing indicators so that governments can track progress in achieving the MHWB targets; (4) Participating in an exemplary opportunity to contribute their expertise to a matrix developed by the Psychology Coalition of NGOs accredited at the United Nations; (5) Advocating with their national governments and other stakeholders about promoting MHWB, a viable opportunity given that governments have pledged openness to such partnership.
This presentation includes a description of many projects that the presenter has been involved in, spoken at, or organized, that are of interest and importance to all involved in mental health. These include events on the topics:
* “Mental Health and Wellbeing at the Heart of the SDGs: Concrete Means of Implementation,”
* “Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing for Youth: A strategy for Social Integration and Poverty Eradication” (a side event during the UN Commission for Social Development)
* “Artificial Intelligence and Technology Tools for Mental Health, Well-being and Resilience: Bridging the treatment gap.”
* How Anti-Bullying will Impact the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
*World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”
*The International Day of Happiness event at the United Nations
* Mental Health Day for World Health Day by the World Health Organization (WHO), on “Depression: Let’s Talk”
* “Out of the Shadows: Mental Health as a Priority on the Global Agenda” conference by the World Bank and WHO
Also, the New Global Agenda will be outlined, including the inter-linkage between mental health and wellbeing with the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, exemplified in work of mental health professionals worldwide, e.g., regarding decent work, poverty eradication, supporting migrants, and combatting climate change.
Advances and new development in these important areas will be described: (1) advocacy about psychosocial resilience in the Sendai framework will be discussed, given the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction recently reviewed in Cancun Mexico at which the presenter was a speaker. This includes developing evidence-based psychosocial programmes to respond to disasters, given so many disasters worldwide including recently (e.g., throughout the Caribbean islands (decimating some of those countries), and in Vanuatu and Nepal); (2) the important new project with the governments at the United Nations of Canada, Belgium and Bahrain to ignite the campaign with a new FRIENDS of MHWB group, as well as the Global Happiness Dialogue and the World Government Summit hosted by the United Arab Emirates to which the presenter is invited; (3) Activities involving civil society and governments at the UN regarding the critically important Global Compact for Refugees and the Global Compact on Migration, given the significance of this issue for countries and mental health professionals worldwide.
The presenter will elaborate about all these efforts, elaborate on the major impact of the success of the SDG advocacy on the practice and science of mental health professionals worldwide, and elucidate the steps that can- and need – to be done to insure maximal positive impacts on their own work and on the betterment of the planet and people, and note how attendees can contribute. Videos will be shown.