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High Level Event on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

A discussion about the successes in the field, highlighting key examples and outlining a way forward.

High-level event, hosted by the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General and the  IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.

Please register in advance on the following link:

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, is providing a written message for the event.

Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO (by video message)
Mr. Marcus Lenzen, OiC of the Peacebuilding Fund
Ms. Nika Saeedi Team Leader, a.i.Prevention of Violent Extremism, UNDP
Ms. Marriet Schuurman, Director Stabilization and Humanitarian Aid Department, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Louise Sherwood, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Specialist, UNICEF, Ethiopia.
Ms. Aimee Santos, Gender/Gender-based Violence National Programme Officer, UNFPA, Philippines
Dr. Fatima Akilu, Neem Foundation and Kings College London

Dr Michael Wessells, Professor at Columbia University and Consultant at the IASC Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group

Since 2007, the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) has advocated for integrating MHPSS in emergency settings guidelines, supported its operations, and produced a range of resources to support this agenda.  In December 2019, the need to scale up this work was amplified in a Joint Interagency Call for Action (JCA) released by Heads of 6 UN Agencies and the Deputy Secretary-General to increase collective efforts to provide cross-sectoral MHPSS that is integrated into humanitarian programmes for preparedness, response and recovery to meet the needs of all populations affected by emergencies. In 2020, the MHPSS agenda was raised further in the context of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture review process and a Task Force, led by the MHPSS team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, developed a set of core recommendations towards increasing interlinkages between MHPSS and peacebuilding.  Several other vital initiatives are also underway among many UN Agencies and other actors, and promising local and innovative practice models such as the Neem Foundation Counselling on Wheels programme are emerging at the country-level using local resources and community expertise.