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Fifth Global Mental Health Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa

The Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH) and the SA Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) as the Secretariat of the MGMH, hosted the 5th Global Mental Health Summit at the University of Witwatersrand, School of Public Health, in Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa on 8 and 9 February 2018.

The 5th Global Mental Health Summit was themed “Leaving no one behind” as per the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit incorporated a strong focus on the inclusion, empowerment and human rights of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, globally.

A total of 238 delegates attended the Summit, of which 55 were persons with lived experience (psychosocial and intellectual disabilities). The Summit delegation represented 28 countries from Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. Persons with lived experience (psychosocial and intellectual disabilities) were exempted from paying registration fees. This to encourage mental health care user participation.

International experts, well-regarded professionals in the field of mental health and human rights, international representatives and persons with lived experience (psychosocial and intellectual disabilities) shared their knowledge, work and experiences on various panel topics. Each panel comprised of at least one person with lived experience (psychosocial and/or intellectual disability).

The Summit concluded with the official launch of the Global Mental Health Peer Network (GMHPN), a mental health care user organisation that will facilitate the establishment of a global network of persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities and the advocacy groups representing them.

Thandanani Centre, a service of the Brothers of Charity in South Africa, presented a play on the theme ‘Equality + Equity = Dignity’ at the summit to highlight the disparity between people living with a physical disability versus people living with a psycho-social disorder. The play also highlighted life in the centre, in the workplace and in social life.

KOSHISH, a Nepalese partner organisation of Fracarita International, was also represented at the summit to raise the issue of abandoned persons with severe mental illness in developing countries where, like in Nepal, there is no history of institutionalization.

Below, you can watch the video presentation of KOSHISH at the Summit:

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