Welcome to the newsletter #2 for the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform
In this second issue we announce the first meeting of the Advisory Committee, the ongoing work of the thematic groups, and the consultation on the "zero draft" of the Global Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020.
Meeting of the Advisory Committee
The first meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform took place last June 28, in Lisbon. The meeting was attended by Doctor Mirta Roses Periago, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Doctor P. Satishchandra, Professor Marian Jacobs, Doctor Shekhar Saxena (Observer to the Advisory Board), and the members of the Steering Committee.
The meeting focused on the best ways to achieve the Platform’s main goal: to make mental health part of the global health agenda. The discussion greatly benefited from the expertise and guidance of the members of the Advisory Committee. The issues addressed were the scope, the implementation, and the dissemination of the activities of the Gulbenkian Platform.
Work of the Thematic Groups
The Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform has decided to contribute to the global health debate by tackling four key topics:
  1. What are the social determinants of mental health and how can they be leveraged to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders;
  2. What are the fundamental connections between physical and mental health, and the implications for integrating mental health care with general health care;
  3. How to promote a radical shift in the way mental disorders are managed, away from long-term hospitalization and towards community-based mental health care;
  4. Emphasizing the importance of protecting the rights of people with mental disabilities, especially children, in psychiatric settings.
The Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform is collaborating with the World Health Organization to generate and disseminate knowledge updating the science on these issues. This knowledge will be synthesized in the form of four technical documents, which will result from the contributions from a group of more than 60 international experts from a broad range of countries, cultures, and areas of professional expertise. These documents will be presented and discussed during two high-level meetings, which will take place in Lisbon in 2013 and in 2014, and finally in the global event in 2015.
The first publication will address population-based strategies that can be implemented through health and non-health sectors to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders. It will (a) highlight the specific links between social determinants and mental health, and (b) provide promotion and prevention strategies that could be implanted at general population level or targeting vulnerable populations.
The second publication will address health-system based strategies for organizing and delivering comprehensive and integrated care for mental disorders and other chronic health conditions. It will (a) review common characteristics and links between mental, neurological, and substance use disorders and other chronic diseases, (b) highlight mutually compatible and reinforcing models of care and prevention, (c) outline key strategies for comprehensive and integrated care of chronic diseases, and (d) identify key actions by different actors for overcoming critical barriers to change and redefining health systems.
The third document will address innovative methodologies for shifting from hospital to community-based care, including operational approaches for establishing community mental health services and promoting social inclusion. It will (a) describe innovative and concrete methodologies for shifting from hospital to community-based methods, (b) provide concrete examples of innovative strategies for deinstitutionalization and (c) provide innovative, operational approaches for establishing community mental health services and promoting social inclusion.
Finally, the fourth publication will address strategies to stop human rights violations of children with mental disabilities in hospital and community settings alike, including alternatives to institutionalizing children with mental disabilities. The product of the work of this group will be a Tool Kit WHO/Gulbenkian Platform which will be made available to governments, professional associations, and advocacy groups willing to campaign for the rights of these vulnerable children. The Kit will contain a brief technical document on the mental disabilities of children, provide some figures on the dimension of the phenomenon at global level, and identify alternative strategies to avoid physical seclusion and restraint.
Consultation on the "zero draft" of the Global Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020
On October 10, Mental Health Day, the WHO invited in Geneva several Collaborating Centers, Academic Institutions, Foundations and NGO's to discuss the “zero draft” of the Global Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020. The meeting was also attended by several ambassadors and representatives from diplomatic missions in Geneva.
The Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Patform, represented by Prof. Benedetto Saraceno, was asked to chair and moderate the first session.
The Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA65.4 on the global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level. It requested the WHO Secretariat to develop a comprehensive mental health action plan, to be submitted to the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly through the Executive Board. WHO has developed a "zero draft" 2013-2020 Global Mental Health Action Plan which presents a transformative agenda for the global mental health response. It aims to serve in developing strategies of Member States, international partners and the WHO Secretariat to ensure more focused, aligned and country-owned responses to address mental health conditions and to guide investments to deliver maximum returns for people most in need. 

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