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Global mental health as crisis preparedness and a development priority

How can mental health care be reorganized to meet reality?

Norad and the Norwegian network for global mental health would like to invite you to a seminar to discuss and debate how the mental health agenda can be moved forward.

Mental Health, neurological and substance use conditions have been neglected in global health for years. Mental health conditions affect nearly a billion people and are a major burden of disease. Climate change, war, increased social and economic differences and natural disasters are pressing global challenges, and all affect mental health. A shift in the global disease burden increases the pressure on already weak healthcare systems. The Covid pandemic demonstrated how vulnerable we are The covid pandemic has helped highlight the need to scale up sustainable mental health care.

To meet this need, we must invest more, and do things differently. What changes are needed? Access to prevention, care and treatment should be part of the universal health coverage (UHC). Primary health care plays a crucial role in all these areas. What are the advantages of integrating mental health into primary health care and community based interventions, and how can it be done? What are the barriers and opportunities?

Date: Wednesday, 22. March, 9.00 -12.00.
Refreshments will be served. Meet and greet from 8:30

Venue: Norad, Bygdøy allé 2. Information Center 5th floor.

Seminar and panel debate hosted by Norad in collaboration with Norwegian Network on Global Mental Health.


Moderator: Ragnhild Dybdahl
  1. Welcome and Introduction by Lisa Knutsen Sivertsen, Director, Department for Human Development, Norad

  2. Mental health as a priority. “Uncertain times and uncertain lives”. The role of mental health in UNDP Human Development Report 2020-21”. By Harald Thorud, UNDP Norway

  3. Universal health coverage for mental health. The special initiative for mental health and the role of primary health care. By Alison Schafer, WHO

  4. The new suicide prevention strategy in Malawi as an example of multisectoral prevention. By Michael Udedi, Malawi Ministry of Public Health

  1. Panel discussion: Better mental health system is also crisis preparedness. How can mental health systems be transformed?

    The questions to be discussed are:
    • How can multisectoral prevention and promotion be scaled up?
    • How can mental health systems be reorganized to strengthen community-based mental health services and integrate mental health into primary health care?


  • Paul Fife, Norad
  • Kseniia Semeniak – Mental health and psychosocial support Manager, Advisor in SOS Children’s Villages 
  • Kedar Marahatta, WHO Nepal
  • Frode Forland, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, currently Africa CDC
  • Nora Braathu, PhD Candidate NKVTS/UiO on mhGAP in Uganda
  1. Closing, By Staale Stavrum & Heidi Westborg Steel, Norwegian Mental Health Network on Global mental health


To register for the seminar, please click here

Link to the digital meeting/livestream will be made available to participants ahead of the event. 

Please note that in-person participation is limited due to space constraints.


Published 02.03.2023
Last updated 02.03.2023