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Launch event: Mental Health and Psychosocial Consequences of Armed Conflicts, Natural Disasters and other Emergencies

  • February 1, 2019

Launch event: Addressing the mental health and psychosocial consequences of armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies

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(Monday, 4 February, 2019, 17:30 – 19:00)

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross are pleased to invite you to the launch of an International Red Cross Red and Crescent Movement initiative: “Addressing mental health and psychosocial consequences of armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies”.

Opening Remarks:

Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Moderator:

Mr. Yves Daccord, Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross

Confirmed speakers:

Dr. Dévora Kestel, Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO

Dr. Shekhar Saxena, The Lancet Commission on Mental Health and Sustainable Development and Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health, Harvard University
Ms. Dorothy Anjuri, Public Health Manager, Kenya Red Cross Society

Mr. Nabih Jabr, Under-Secretary General, Lebanese Red Cross

Globally, the International Red Cross Red and Crescent Movement witnesses extensive mental health and psychosocial needs arising as a direct or indirect consequence of armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies. Millions of people affected are exposed to extremely distressing experiences, ranging from the loss of loved ones, of home, property and of livelihoods, to severe violations of human dignity such as sexual and gender-based violence, torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Emergencies further strain the already scarce or inadequate resources of health systems and needs often considerably exceed the response capacity of local services. Stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health and psychosocial concerns cause harm and exclusion from society and further hinder the provision of support, preventing them from seeking and accessing help. The humanitarian impact of these too often unmet mental health and psychosocial needs is long-term and far‐reaching, not only affecting individuals and families directly but also whole communities and societies.

The Red Cross Red and Crescent Movement recognises an urgent need to increase efforts to address these mental health and psychosocial needs emerging as a result of armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies. In 2018, we saw growing global awareness and political commitment to tackling mental health and psychosocial needs. 2019 offers opportunities to further this work and to take global, national and local actions that will have concrete impacts for the people affected.

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