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Session 4: Mental Health in a Time of Crisis

October 21, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am EDT

Organized by CORE Group

Session 4: Mental Health in a Time of Crisis

October 21, 2020



Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for over 41 million deaths worldwide each year with 85% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2011, the campaign for the prevention and control of NCDs was introduced as a priority activity by the United Nations. As global health priorities transitioned from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, NCDs emerged as a set of conditions that have direct links to achieving goals and targets of the SDGs. The CORE NCD Interest Group Webinar Series will provide an opportunity to understand the progress we have made in elevating the NCD agenda since the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCD and to craft solutions around the challenges that persist. It is important that we identify sustainable opportunities and solutions for integrating NCD priorities into global health programs recognizing the burden the current COVID-19 pandemic has placed on global citizens and health systems. Webinar participants will have an opportunity to learn from NCD experts and to share their own experiences working as advocates and implementers.

SESSION 4: Mental Health in a Time of Crisis

Join us for an interactive conversation on the importance of mental health, especially in times of crisis like the current pandemic when already scarce resources are often pulled for other priorities. The conversation will pay particular attention to the need for mental health services to be highly contextualized and responsive to the needs and perspectives of people with lived experience. The panel brings together speakers with diverse backgrounds and experiences from a wide variety of settings as advocates, implementers, researchers, practitioners, and lived experience navigating mental health systems.


1. To demonstrate the critical importance of prioritizing and resourcing mental health services globally, even in times of crisis and in low-income settings.

2. To examine the importance of and rationale behind deep contextualization of mental health services and taking seriously the perspectives and needs of those with lived experience in service design, implementation, and evaluation.

3. To assess the diverse state of mental health care in different contexts globally, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting both the need for mental health services and the ability of systems to respond to these needs in different contexts.


Webinar Lead: Paul Shetler Fast, MPH, MID, Global Health Coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee, Co-Chair CORE Group Social and Behavior Change Work

Webinar Moderators: Mychelle Farmer, MD, Past-Chair of NCD Child, Chief Medical Officer at Advancing Synergy


  • Giuseppe Raviola, MD, MPH, Director of Mental Health at Partners in Health, Associate Director of Global Psychiatry Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Director of the Program in Global Mental Health and Social Change at Harvard Medical School
  • Charlene Sunkel, CEO and Founder of the Global Mental Health Peer Network
  • Matrika Devkota, Executive Director and Founder of KOSHISH Nepal (National Mental Health Self-Help Organization)

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October 21, 2020
9:00 am - 10:30 am EDT
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CORE Group