This January, we joined lived experience advocates, NGO representatives, creatives and strategic partners from around the world in Johannesburg, South Africa to co-create a citizen-led campaign calling for greater action on mental health worldwide.
Representing Nigeria, we came together with 80 other participants from 14 countries, alongside creatives and Global Strategic Partners. Representatives came from different regions and a range of national income levels, making it a truly diverse gathering.
The meeting gave us increased confidence to take action, equipped with national strategic plans we produced together, backed by collectively agreed global themes and objectives.
“I think it’s an important event that is going to set the ground on what collaboration for mental health should look like and hopefully make as much impact as what we want it to.” Victor Ugo (Our Founder)
“I think we have an opportunity to do a lot more together than we do as separate nations. Most people want to believe in something bigger than themselves, so as representatives we get to do that on behalf of the people of our individual countries.” – Emeli from Australia
Two new funds for mental health were announced and the outlines of a creative strategy, incorporating a number of exciting communications ideas, took shape. We also decided how to continue to collaborate after the meeting, agreeing on roles, partnerships, a structure and principles for how to work together.
Going forward, we will drive our own national campaign in Nigeria, while uniting globally behind a shared vision alongside other country coalitions. We will join in solidarity with other groups during global moments, which will be used to mobilise societies to amplify and accelerate advocacy on mental health.
The global campaign will launch at this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva in May, bringing our messages directly to health ministers. Be sure to watch out for global campaign activities at the UN General Assembly in New York in September and around the world on World Mental Health on 10 October. We also plan to organise our own in-country activities, starting with a country launch scheduled for June, which also coincides with our third-year anniversary celebrations. To sign up to the campaign and get more updates do subscribe to our newsletter.