Media Advisory: Expert Discussion on Mental Health Services in Humanitarian Crises
St. Paul, MN & Washington, DC – Conflicts and natural disasters, exposure to violence, torture, sexual and gender based violence, loss of or separation from family members and friends, deterioration in living conditions, and other forms of stress can significantly impact a person’s mental and psychosocial well-being. The prevalence of common mental disorders such as depression or anxiety can double after humanitarian crises while people with pre-existing mental disorders do not have access to needed services and are at risk for violence and abuse.
Although the needs are especially high in humanitarian settings and low income countries, mental health and psychosocial services are still often underfunded or not included as a priority in development and humanitarian programs. CVT and its partners in the Global Mental Health Advocacy Working Group are calling on governments and multilateral agencies to elevate the prioritization, quality and availability of mental health services and activities in such settings, by allocating appropriate resources specifically targeted for mental health and by integrating mental health with other programs.
On April 7, 2014, in commemoration of World Health Day, the Global Mental Health Advocacy Working Group is hosting its first public gathering of experts to participate in a discussion on how there is “no health without mental health,” focusing on the importance of accessible, timely, culturally appropriate, and high-quality mental health and psychosocial support programs for people and communities around the world.
WHO: Global Mental Health Advocacy Working Group
- Dévora Kestel, Mental Health Regional Advisor, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
- Dr. Inka Weissbecker, Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Advisor, International Medical Corps
- Ann Willhoite, International Clinical Advisor, The Center for Victims of Torture
- Wendy Wheaton, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University & Researcher on child well-being in conflict/post-conflict settings
WHAT: Global Mental Health Advocacy Working Group expert discussion on mental health Services and humanitarian care during crises
WHEN: Monday, April 7, 2014
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Lunch will be provided.
WHERE: The Center for Victim of Torture
1730 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
The discussion is sponsored by the Center for Victims of Torture, International Medical Corps, Whole Child International, Peter C. Alderman Foundation, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), John Snow, Inc., The George Washington University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, American Refugee Committee, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit headquartered in St. Paul, MN with an office in Washington, D.C. and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org.
Brad Robideau (MN)
brobideau [at] cvt [dot] org
Annie Sovcik (DC)
asovcik [at] cvt [dot] org
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-808-7178 (mobile)
Journalists: If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Brad Robideau at brobideau [at] cvt [dot] org.