24 October 2019
MHPSS throughout UNGA 74
Throughout the week, there was excitement, momentum and pledges to take action from governments, implementing organizations and funder networks, on specific issues related to child and family MHPSS.
World leaders adopted a high-level United Nations Political Declaration on universal health coverage -including mental health. This exciting announcement was followed by an evening with United for Global Mental Health celebrating Mental Health for All: An Evening for Action at the UN General Assembly. Leaders from around the world took the stage to give inspiring speeches and call for action on the urgent nature of addressing mental health concerns. United for Global Mental Health ambassadors joined from across the globe to tell us their stories of lived experience and advocate for action. New Zealand’s ambassador and director of the documentary Jessica’s Tree, Jazz Thornton, took the stage to call on her leaders to act on mental health, “because the reality is that the statistics are something that we can no longer simply survive through, but we must learn how to fight and create change together.”
During the Save the Children high-level side event Stop the War on Children, the Danish development minister Rasmus Prehn highlighted his assurance to the MHPSS Collaborative and his commitment to supporting Education Cannot Wait. He also stated protecting children and ensuring they receive an education no matter where they live was a continued priority for the Danish Government.
On Tuesday morning, Moving Minds Alliance held a pre-kickoff meeting where their advocacy for early childhood in crisis and education plan was announced. SEEK Development is supporting the process along with various partners, including the MHPSS Collaborative. Three objectives where introduced at the meeting 1) to provide a clear understanding of the gaps, challenges and opportunities that stakeholders in ECD face in pursuing their long term objective of ensuring that early childhood services are an integral part of humanitarian response, 2) to identify a shared set of programmatic and policy priorities for collective advocacy and 3) to develop a shared advocacy strategy with special attention to financing and policy making , and to derive a concrete plan for collective action around these priorities.
On Wednesday, Education Cannot Wait held its replenishment event where world leaders committed to expanding access to inclusive quality education for girls and boys caught up in the world’s worst humanitarian crises with US$216 million in pledges. Amongst these pledges, the LEGO Foundation committed $12.5 million to promote play-based learning and improve holistic learning outcomes in children affected by conflict. Education Cannot Wait work recently partnered with the Collaborative to mainstream mental health and psychosocial support for children and youth affected by wars and conflicts. With Education Cannot Wait expanding its investments in multi-year resilience education programmes to 25 priority crisis-affected countries in the next three years, the new partnership with the MHPSS Collaborative gives us the opportunity to ensure mental health is promoted in formal and informal education settings throughout the globe. Read more about our collaboration HERE.
As we take a step back following the excitement and energy of UNGA, we look forward to continuing the conversation and turning our words into action!