World Mental Health Day - CBM calls on NGOs to do more

Posted on: Monday, 10th October, 2016
Kirsty Smith sitting on a woven matt talking to women affected by Nepal earthquake.

On World Mental Health Day, 10th October, CBM, as part of a coalition of NGOs working on mental health, calls for NGOs to do more.

Hannah Loryman, CBM UK’s Senior Policy Officer, said, “Addressing mental health is in line with NGOs’ mandate of reaching the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. NGOs are well placed to reach those who would otherwise not be able to access treatment or support.”

One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives and around three quarters of people living with psychosocial disabilities live in low and middle income countries.

In low and middle income countries only a small proportion of those living with psychosocial disabilities are able to access treatment or support. People living with psychosocial disabilities often face high levels of discrimination which can stop them from being able to access treatment or support, earn a living and take part in their communities.

Despite this, mental health has not been a priority for those working in international development.

Alongside other actors, there are a number of clear steps that NGOs can take which would have a large impact on people living with psychosocial disabilities in the world’s poorest countries.

These include:

  • Designing programmes which improve people’s access to treatment and support;
  • Making sure that all development programmes can be accessed by people living with psychosocial disabilities;
  • Measuring what affects their programmes have on people’s mental health and wellbeing – so that we can learn what to replicate and scale up;
  • Engage in advocacy with other NGOs. Earlier this year CBM was one of a group of NGOs that came together to design a call for action on mental health which sets out the steps needed to make sure the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved by 2030.

Read more:

Find out more about what steps NGOs can take

Read about this year’s World Mental Health day theme, Psychological First Aid


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