Civil Society or Non-Governmental Organisation
Global Mental Health Peer Network
March 2020
Global Mental Health Peer Network
Global Office: South Africa

Please Support Us
The GMHPN is raising funds towards its further development and sustainability - please support us by making a small donation and help us become a stronger collective voice for the human rights of persons with lived experience with mental health conditions across the world, and ensuring that we are at the centre of policy and action.
Click Here to Donate
Please take a minute and VOTE for us!
World Dignity Project: 
2020 Mental Health Champion
The Global Mental Health Peer Network its Founder/CEO Charlene Sunkel are both nominees.
Public voting will take place from:
March 15th, 2020 until May 17th, 2020
GMHPN Members: Country & Global Activities
GMHPN Chairperson, Claudia Sartor, represents at BPG meeting in Kenya
GMHPN Chairperson,
Claudia Sartor, joined the Blue Print Group for the Speak Yourh Mind Campaign in Kenya on 14 February 2020, coordinated by United for Global Mental Health. Collaborative #advocacy and #communication for ACTION and INVESTMENT in global mental health.
Chapter 2: Empathy & Hope Project opens in Durban, South Africa
GMHPN Exco Member, Chantelle Booysen, created and curated the 
#empathyhopeproject. An immersive, traveling exhibition focusing on the impact of our social environments on the health of our minds. With a spotlight on EMPATHY to curb stigma and HOPE to encourage mental well-being.
Transforming personal distress into global human rights advocacy in mental health. By GMHPN Exco Member, Matthew Jackman.
"Through my lived experience I developed leadership skills and a deep purpose characterized by a drive to be there for others in the pursuit of bettering humanity."
Current news: COVID-19 and Mental Health

How are you affected by the COVID-19 crisis?
What are you doing to cope with the situation?

If you want to share your comments and perspectives, please send us an email to:

The GMHPN created a dedicated page on its website "COVID-19 Special" as a platform for people with lived experience to share their views, perspectives and ways of coping. The platform is also to share useful resources related specifically to COVID-19 and mental health. We will continue to upload content and information.

Please click on the link above to check it out 
Psychosocial Impacts
The pandemic is putting enormous stress on all of us but especially on health care workers and other specific groups.
Like other pandemics and emerging disease outbreaks, COVID-19 is creating immense psychosocial disturbances. The disease involves an unfamiliar threat that is difficult to detect and challenging to distinguish from more benign illnesses.
Psychiatrists Beware!
The Impact of COVID-19 and Pandemics on Mental Health
Anxiety and stress disorders: Stigma and xenophobia are two aspects of the societal impact of pandemic infectious outbreaks. This is often followed by anxiety-related behaviors, sleep disturbances, and overall lower perceived state of health. Individuals with mental illness may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat.
Anxiety on rise due
to coronavirus, say mental health charities
Stephen Buckley, of the mental health charity Mind, said: “We know that the coronavirus and its impact are causing stress and worry for many people. If you already have a mental health problem, it’s possible that the worries of coronavirus may be affecting how you’re coping."
10 Mental Health Tips for Coronavirus Social Distancing
As we enter this new and unprecedented phase of the pandemic, we are inundated with guidelines about how to keep ourselves and our families healthy and virus-free. Yet a key item on the list—social distancing—poses unprecedented challenges to our mental and emotional well being.
"Your wellbeing can be someone else’s survival"
"When we are facing a crisis, the first thing that gets negatively affected is our mental wellbeing. This, ironically, is also the first thing that will help us endure and survive the same crisis."
News and Interests
South Africa opens continent's first Queer Wellness Centre
LGBTI+ South Africans said the continent's first Queer Wellness Centre, which opened on Tuesday, would spare gay and transgender people the shame, rejection and confusion that they often face when seeking medical care.
"The Biggest Little Book About Hope"
The "Biggest Little Book About Hope" by an inspiring person, Kathryn Goetzke, and a dear friend of the Global Mental Health Peer Network. She continues to show and share the value and importance of HOPE. Her book is available from Amazon - link above.
Singapore: All schools to have peer support networks by 2022; more emphasis on mental health education
Schools will select peer support leaders to take on a more active role in looking out for their peers, said Second Minister for Education.
Even When I’m Psychotic,
I’m Still Me
When my bipolar disorder caused a break with reality, most everyone in my life disappeared. From The New York Times: “Doctors, and the occasional friend, kept telling me something meant to be cheering: ‘This is just a disease, the same as a broken bone or a bout of pneumonia.’ As though my antipsychotic could just as easily be penicillin.
4 Reasons I'm Scared to Process My Trauma in Therapy
For years, I put up walls and quickly shut out any mental health professional who tried to dig into that part of my past. And thanks to my severe depression, debilitating anxiety and blazing borderline personality disorder (BPD), there’s always been plenty for my lengthy list of past therapists to focus on during our sessions.
This Is What It’s Like to Live
With Paranoid Schizophrenia
My first break from reality crept into my life slowly, seemingly banal at first—I cried a lot and was experiencing symptoms of major depression. I started isolating myself from other people. 
But then I started to believe that a therapist I once worked with was plotting with a well-known judge and other county and city officials to set me up. I became painfully paranoid. Delusional.
Why some take anxiety pills before exams: Students hope for better mental health support in schools
Alarm clocks, stuffed toys, medicine - the teacher was rattling off the list of “strange” things that students leave behind in the exam hall. She said: ‘What medicine, Xanax?’” recalled Faye, “and I was sitting there thinking, ‘yes, people genuinely rely on these things to get by’.”
'Denial runs deep’:
Patrick Kennedy says mental health is the civil rights issue no one is talking about
Former congressman Patrick Kennedy, 52, said the nation was suffering a mental health crisis worsened by a culture of silence.
"Denial runs deep, and that silence around these illnesses is what is contributing to our personal crises in our own families," Kennedy told the Washington Examiner. "If we don't speak up as a society, we see record rates of suicide, overdose, disability due to these illnesses left unchecked."
America's Mental Health Crisis Hidden Behind Bars
New inmates with a mental illness arrive daily in the Los Angeles County jail system. It now holds more than 5,000 inmates with a mental illness who've had run-ins with the law.
It's recreation time at a Los Angeles County jail known as the Twin Towers. Nearly a dozen disheveled young men stand docilely as they munch on sandwiches out of brown paper bags.
They're half-naked except for sleeveless, thick, blanket-like restraints wrapped around them like medieval garments.
Reforming prison mental health services in Ukraine
The Ukrainian prison service is going through a process of reform. One of the areas that is in urgent need of intervention is prison mental health. In collaboration with the Ministry of Justice a the am of international experts assessed the current situation with regard to penitentiary psychiatry and came to a set of recommendations. This article reflects the outcome of the assessment visit and the recommendations made to the ministry.
Anxiety, Depression Can Be
Eased with 150 Minutes of
Exercise a Week
Researchers say people can benefit from exercise whether it’s outdoors or indoors, and whether it’s team sports or individual activities. 
They cautioned that more isn’t necessarily better, so a moderate amount of exercise is best for most people.
Associations between life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour and brain structure in a population-representative longitudinal birth cohort
Studies with behavioural and neuropsychological tests have supported the developmental taxonomy theory of antisocial behaviour, which specifies abnormal brain development as a fundamental aspect of life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour, but no study has characterised features of brain structure associated with life-course-persistent versus adolescence-limited trajectories, as defined by prospective data. We aimed to determine whether life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour is associated with neurocognitive abnormalities by testing the hypothesis that it is also associated with brain structure abnormalities.
Initiatives, Events and Conferences
Geneva Health Forum (GHF)
The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and the University of Geneva, organizers of the Geneva Health Forum (GHF), regret to announce that the Steering Committee together with the Programme Committee of the GHF have decided to postpone the eighth edition of the Forum which was due to take place 24th-26th March 2020. The 8th edition of the Geneva Health Forum will now take place from 16th to 18th November 2020. As for the format of the Forum, the organizers plan to keep it as close as possible to the current one.
South Asia Implementation Research Fellowship Program
Ever wonder how research findings become a routine part of health care? Or why innovations in mental health care don’t scale-up? How do you design an implementation plan for a program?
If you are interested in learning about these and other related issues, this fellowship is for you!!!
 The South Asia Implementation Research Fellowship in Mental Health is now accepting applications! The fellowship aims to increase the knowledge and skills in implementation science as well as the implementation of mental health and suicide prevention programs.
Global Mental Health Peer Network
Global Office: South Africa
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