World Mental Health Day provides a platform to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to marshal support for advancing the development of and access to programs aimed at improving the mental health and ecological well-being for all humans.
This year's focus for World Mental Health Day will showcase the efforts made around the world by the World Health Organization's (WHO) member countries to address mental health issues affected by COVID-19. And, despite the serious challenges faced due to the pandemic, there is room for great optimism as the efforts of these countries have resulted in the scaling up of quality mental health services at all levels that reach far beyond the effects of the pandemic.
Coordinated by the WHO's Mental Health and Substance Use department, World Mental Health Day is but one of the many functions of the department intended to advance awareness and the development of a quality baseline for mental health services around the world. In recent years, some of the major advances have included the implementation of the mhGAP program that provides primary care health providers in low resourced countries, and toolkits that support recognizing and intervening with the most commonly encountered mental health conditions.
In addition, each year at its Mental Health Strategic Planning meetings in Geneva, this department invites its member countries, global partners, affiliates, and invited university representatives to engage in dialogue to help identify needs and support continuing universal expansion of quality baseline mental health interventions.
Beginning in 2014, Dr. Beverly Buckles, Dean of the School of Behavioral Health (SBH), was invited to participate in these annual Mental Health Strategic Planning meetings. Since then, Dr. Buckles has expanded SBH's participation in these formative meetings to include additional members of the School's leadership team; over the last several years Dr. Susanne Montgomery, Associate Dean of Research, and Dr. Adam Aréchiga, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, have attended these meetings with Dr. Buckles.
This expanded engagement assists SBH in being present at multiple breakout sessions that cover not only policies, but also research and clinical interventions—all important areas which assist in informing the work and continuing relevance of the LLU International Behavioral Health Trauma Team that operates under the leadership of SBH.
Please join with SBH in recognizing and celebrating World Mental Health Day today, October 10.