In my new role as WFMH Secretary General and CEO I would like to start by wishing everybody well. I hope that you are all keeping safe during the current coronavirus pandemic.
This has been a very challenging time for many people including those with a mental illness, their families and carers because physical distancing and quarantine measures put in place to decrease the spread of the virus and save lives have also caused individual hardship.
People have lost their jobs, people with mental health problems have experienced worsening of their symptoms and our usual social supports are no longer available because many of them have been closed until the pandemic is under better control. We need to learn lessons from this so that we can find new ways of working together to maintain wellbeing in future.
It is striking that COVID 19 poses a greater biological threat to men, people with lower socioeconomic status, older people, those with multiple physical health problems and causes greater psychosocial distress to women. This needs to be addressed in our continued global mental health advocacy work and we would like you to share your experience, research and expertise with the WFMH family.
You will notice that this issue of the bulletin includes contributions from some of our individual and institutional members. I am extending an invitation to all WFMH members to consider contributing your thoughts, knowledge and experience to future issues of our regular bulletin so that we can learn from each other, support one another and continue to inspire one another.
We will have an opportunity to come together and continue our learning from one another at the next WFMH World Congress ‘Mental health: a global priority’ being held at Central Westminster Hall, London, UK from 2nd to 5th November 2021 in partnership with the World Dignity Project.
Please go to the website on www.wfmh2021.com for more information about how to register and participate.
I am very grateful to those of you who have contributed to this bulletin, our technical team, volunteers and those of you who have sent goodwill messages.
Symptoms are not a barrier to recovery, attitude is. Please continue to support WFMH to continue its global mental health advocacy work.
Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE JP
WFMH Secretary General