Movement for Global Mental Health

The Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH) is a coalition of individuals and institutions aimed in eliminating the treatment gap for people living with mental disorders worldwide. It is the Movement’s mission to have full and effective participation in society of people with disabilities, including those with mental illnesses. The organization is based on two fundamental principles: scientific evidence and human rights.

The movement began in 2007, stemming from a Call for Action produced in the Lancet series, groups of articles addressing important topics of health that are often neglected by mainstream medical publications. Through a joint effort with partners, MGMH has formed into a space where members are able to discuss ideas and implement activities and programs to assist those with mental illnesses. MGMH aims to improve the availability, accessibility and quality mental health services for people all over the world.

Currently, members consist of over 200 institutions and 10,000 individuals, many of whom are family members of those affected by mental disorders, as well as health care providers, researchers and activists.

MGMH mainly focuses on low- and middle-income countries (LAMI), where people with mental disorders face the most amount of discrimination at all levels in society. Overcoming these social barriers to receive help often poses greater difficulty then dealing with the mental disorder on a personal level.

Although laws are widely in place to protect those with mental illnesses, they are still seen as one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. Thus, the MGMH website serves as a platform to share resources, advocacy articles and personal experiences of human rights violations.

The Movement seeks to emulate HIV/AIDS campaigns that have been successful in mobilizing global resources for people in LAMI countries. These types of movements were specific in the call for action and set clear guidelines in how to provide resources for testing and decrease the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. MGMH hopes to mimic their successes by collaborating with human rights organizations, non-profits and universities to provide higher quality treatment for people with mental disorders, while protecting their basic human rights and increasing research in developing countries.

– Leeda Jewayni

Sources: British Journal of Psychiatry, Movement for Global Mental Health
Photo: Patch