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GMH Newsletter Featured Topics – April 2021

2021 April Newsletter

Spotlight: UW eDGH New Global Mental Health Course

UW Global Mental Health Program, in collaboration with eDGH, recently launched a new online course on Global Mental Health for health professionals around the world. Developed by Dr. Christopher Kemp and Dr. Deepa Rao, this 10-week course covered key issues in global mental health, such as social determinants of mental health, stigma associated with mental health conditions,  promotion of positive mental health, assessment, prevention, treatment of disorders, and integrated care. The instructors present case studies on adaptation of tools and interventions for different settings. The course uses online video lectures, readings, discussion forums, quizzes, case studies and assignments to teach students about key issues in global mental health.

Over 1600 participants enrolled in the pilot across 36 countries, 97% of whom joined the course from 42 distinct sites.  Sites include local NGOs, ministries of health, foreign universities and university hospitals, clinical facilities and professional groups. Most participants were from low- and middle-income countries, the top five being Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, and Myanmar. Two thirds of the participants work as a healthcare professional.

Many course participants were excited to enroll in the initial offering and felt it was very helpful to their work. Participants shared some of their feedback with eDGH :

  • “The module on stigma was an eye opener. It made me see things better from the perspective of the person with the mental illness.”
  • “I think this course has really been an [eye] opener for me since I have realized that my country need[s] to step up its game in the field of mental health.”
  • “Very rich materials. I would definitely recommend the course to other healthcare workers especially those I work with in the comprehensive care clinic.”
  • “I really appreciate the concept of dualism, because in my setting, spirituality plays a major role in every aspect of our lives, and knowing we can do the two to achieve the ultimate goal in mental health, is going to make our work easier. And also improve adherence to treatment regimes.”

The first course wrapped up on April 4, 2021. The next course will begin in October 2021. Individuals who are interested in taking the course, or sharing it with others, can visit the eDGH website for more information

GMH Updates & Events

Webinar | Exploring Mental Health and the Impact of the Climate Crisis in Agricultural Communities

Topic: Exploring Mental Health and the Impact of the Climate Crisis in Agricultural Communities

When: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 10:00 AM (PT) / 12:00 PM (CT) / 1:00 PM (ET & AT)

The Migrant Clinicians Network will be hosting this webinar. The climate crisis and related natural disasters impact the physical health and well-being of the population. Community and individual livelihood may be damaged or altered because of property loss or damage, lack of resources, and job, housing, and food insecurity. Agricultural workers may be especially affected by climate change, taking into consideration their exposure to various environmental stressors during their workdays and intrinsic psychosocial factors of the agricultural community such as labor and social conditions. Assessing the impact of climate change on the mental health of farmers and agricultural workers is vital for regions with a higher risk of facing intense natural disasters due to climate change.

This webinar will explore validated instruments related to agricultural worker health including, but not limited to, the National Agricultural Worker Health Survey (questions about mental health) and the Migrant Farm Worker Stress Inventory and other mental health assessment tools. We will also explore the use of tools related to climate change perception and impact that can be incorporated as indicators to explore the effects of stressors (e.g., evacuation, displacement, housing damage, injuries and death, job insecurity, water, and crop loss) caused by disasters related to the climate crisis.

Register for the webinar here

NIMH and Grand Challenges Canada – Global Mental Health Conference.

The National Institute of Mental Health and Grand Challenges Canada sponsored the 11th Global Mental Health Research Conference on April 5-7, 2021. The conference brought together researchers, innovators, and other stakeholders from around the globe. The conference showcased findings from cutting-edge science and explored new opportunities for groundbreaking research. GMH faculty and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Jürgen Unützer, was a session moderator at the NIMH and GCC Global Mental Health Conference.

New UW Psychiatry Resident Elective

Starting July 2021, we will launch a new 4-week elective for 2nd year Psychiatry residents with an interest in global mental health. Residents will join Global Mental Health faculty in their research and GMH activities, review didactic materials on global mental health, and produce a commentary or presentation on Global Mental Health.

Action plan for epilepsy and neurological disorders

As many of you know, epilepsy is often managed by mental health care professionals in LMICs when there are few neurologists. Please share this opportunity to weigh in on the proposed action plan for epilepsy and neurological disorders with your colleagues: In 2020 the Seventy-third session of the World Health Assembly endorsed resolution WHA 73.10 on Global actions on epilepsy and other neurological disorders, which requested the WHO Director-General to develop an intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders in consultation with Member States. The discussion paper includes the proposed vision, strategic objectives and a set of recommended actions. Consultations on the discussion paper will inform the development of the Intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders for consideration at the Seventy-fifth session of the World Health Assembly.  You can read more about this process and access the discussion paper on the WHO website

Funding for global mental health

Engage with the World Bank Spring Meetings and learn what finance ministers need to know. Learn more in this Devex article

Suicide prevention in LMICs – funding opportunity

NIH Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) in Reducing Suicide Risk in Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries and Low-Resource Settings. NOT-MH-21-090

Posted Date: Mar 02, 2021

Due Date: June 05, 2021

Eligibility: NIMH welcomes applicants from LMICs and strongly encourages applicants from the United States or upper middle-income countries to partner with sites in LMICs. The National Institute of Mental Health is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight interest in developing and implementing prevention strategies to reduce suicide risk (suicide ideation and behavior, including acts of self-harm/suicide) and promote resilience among young people, age 10-24 years, in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs)and low-resources settings.