In 2020 the focus of UNGA is the “Decade of Action”, focussing on the final ten years of action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve the SDGs — and particularly Goal 3 of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all — it is vital that we include mental health.
Ensuring good mental health for all means guaranteeing the fundamental right to mental health support, not only through equitable access to mental health services through health systems, but by the promotion of good mental health throughout society and the environments we live in. Therefore, in order to promote wellbeing and productivity mental health investment needs to happen across multiple social and economic development issues. Our mental health has an impact on every aspect of our lives, and likewise, mental health is intertwined with all SDGs; it is currently the most untapped and underinvested resource to ensure progress on the SDGs.
As we gear up to the decade of delivery, to not only build back societies and health systems following the pandemic — but also to resume efforts to achieve the SDGs — we must ensure accelerated action to guarantee mental health for all. With hundreds of millions of people trapped at home during the pandemic, and its consequent lockdowns, and so many experiencing traumatic events, and the severe interruption to mental health services, mental health has become an even more prominent issue – it is crucial that strong mental health policies are at the center of recovery efforts.
To coincide with the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Devex, together with The Global Mental Health Action Network, we hosted a virtual event to convene a panel of experts to raise the profile of mental health issues and connect them to overall progress on the SDGs. The event also explored opportunities for the Global mental Health Action Network to further accelerate progress on the issue through increased collaboration and advocacy.
Watch the event recording above.