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GMH Newsletter Featured Topics – May 2021

2021 May Newsletter

May is Mental Health Month!

Mental Health Awareness month was launched in 1949 by Mental Health America, and each year the organization announces a theme and materials to educate the public about mental illnesses, bring attention to people with lived experience, and to promote strategies for sustaining mental health. This year’s theme is #Tools2Thrive and continues last year’s efforts to help the population cope with the stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Me You Can’t See

Mental Health Month is a traditional month for the release of films and other media that promote awareness, and this year is no different. Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry join forces to guide honest discussions about mental health on the Apple TV docuseries, The Me You Can’t See.  The show features stories about mental health and emotional well-being from across the globe. It launches on May 21, watch the trailer here.  Dr. Pamela Collins had the pleasure of serving on the advisory board for the series along with an international group of mental health professionals and other experts.

Mental Health Topics at the World Health Assembly

The 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) will be held from May 24 – June 1. The World Health Assembly is the forum through which the World Health Organization is governed by its 194 member states. It is the world’s highest health policy setting body and its composed of health ministers from member states. Several mental health topics will be discussed at the WHA:

  • Tuesday May 25: Promoting mental health preparedness and response for public health emergencies
  • Consideration and endorsement of the updated Mental Health Action Plan – 2013-2030. The Plan will be formally approved at the WHA

The Global Mental Health Action Network has compiled documents related to the World Health Assembly briefing and Mental Health Action Plan.

The Global Mental Health Action Network is also encouraging members to submit their own statements on how important mental health is to their country, and how they would propose to build back better, to make mental health systems stronger and more accessible in the wake of COVID-19.

GMH Speaker Series

Last week the UW Global Mental Health Program held its Spring Speaker Series Event. Dr. Judy Bass of Johns Hopkins University presented her work entitled, “Addressing Trauma Among Adults Who Have Experienced Conflict: Lessons on Intervention Implementation Across Contexts.” Dr. Bass described the outcomes of and approaches to randomized trials of task-sharing mental health interventions in settings such as Ukraine, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Myanmar. She discussed implementation strategies to improve mental health service uptake, development and rigorous evaluation of measures for assessing program implementation, and the use of innovative methods to identify risk and protective factors for psychosocial and mental health problems.

For those who were unable to attend the event, you can access the recording here.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds

Physician Wellbeing, Crisis and System Change

Presenter: Richard F. Summers, MD

Friday, May 21, 2021, 12 – 1 p.m.

Physicians came into the COVID-19 pandemic on the heels of an epidemic of burnout and discontent. We have learned more about the sources of physician distress and how to intervene during this global emergency, but it is too soon to grasp the many impacts of the pandemic on the US health care system and on our society at large. There is some emerging consensus on targets for intervening to improve physician wellbeing at the societal, institutional, programmatic, and individual levels. This presentation will focus on the context of physician wellbeing, interventions for enhancing it, and the uncertainties that lie ahead.