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World Mental Health Day 2023

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, an international day dedicated to mental health education, awareness-raising, and policy advocacy. This year’s theme is “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”.

To commemorate the day, the PS Centre has created a social media Canva card campaign on mental health and stigma, a “mental health is a universal human right” advocacy video, a series of Caring for the Carers video series, and a podcast on the linkage between mental health and human rights.

Below is an overview of resources created for, and events leading up to, World Mental Health Day 2023.


PS Centre World Mental Health Day Canva Cards on Mental Health and Stigma

On the path to make mental health a universal human right, harmful stigma is a challenge that has to be countered. The PS Centre has created six card templates for Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies to download and translate the text into their respective languages. Find all of them here.

Mental Health is a Universal Human Right

The PS Centre has created a ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’ advocacy video of Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers interpreting this year’s theme into one word, said in their native tongue. Volunteers have since then translated all the words into their respective languages and the video exists now with subtitles in more than 20 languages.


Caring for the Carers – a video series on well-being for Red Cross Red Crescent Staff and Volunteers

The PS Centre has created a ‘Caring for the Carers’ video series emphasizing the importance of taking care of the mental health and well-being of Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers.

Three Ukrainian Red Cross staff and volunteers talk about their experience of volunteering with the Red Cross and what kind of support is in place to protect mental health and well-being of staff and volunteers.

The importance of supporting the supporters

Preventing “burning out” among volunteers

The benefits of the “Buddy-system”

Heartbeat of Humanity Podcast

In this episode of Heartbeat of Humanity, Communications Officer Jesper Guhle interviews Carmen Valle-Trabadelo about the linkage between Mental Health and Human Rights.

The podcast Heartbeat of Humanity is mainly for staff and volunteers in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, especially staff and volunteers working in mental health and psychosocial support services.

Listen to the podcast here or subscribe on Apple PodcastSpotifyGoogle Podcast or wherever you find your podcasts.

Find more episodes of Heartbeat of Humanity.

Upcoming events

October 4-5

Guleed Dualeh, PS Centre MHPSS Technical Advisor, is speaking at the 7th Regional Psychosocial Forum (REPSSI): ‘Mental Health in Context’ – in South Africa. Guleed will speak on the work of the IFRC in providing MHPSS services, and the South African Red Cross will present its programme on providing psychosocial support to HIV/AIDS orphans in Southern Africa.

October 5-6

Carmen Valle-Trabadelo, Co-Chair for the IASC Reference Group for MHPSS in Emergencies, will attend the Ministerial Mental Health Summit in Argentina, along with Nathalie Helena Rigall, PS Centre Project Manager, and Sofia Ribeiro from the IFRC Geneva. Carmen will open the conference along with Devora Kestel (Director of WHO Mental Health and Substance Use department in Geneva) with a bilateral talk addressing MHPSS in emergencies.

October 7

Sarah Harrison, Head of the PS Centre Technical Unit, will be speaking at a conference for civil protection officers, firemen (and women), and police officers involved in disaster response work, in Milan, hosted by the Italian Red Cross. Sarah will adress how first responders can navigate MHPSS impacts through their roles

October 10

Sarah Harrison, Head of the PS Centre MHPSS Technical Unit, together with representatives from UNHCR, will be speaking on a panel and Q&A at the film screening of The Mind Game (2023) at the Geneva Graduate Institute from 18:00–21:30hrs (CEST). The event is hosted by Médecins Sans Frontières and will be held in-person at Geneva Graduate Institute, A2 auditorium (Geneva), online, and at various universities across the UK.

October 10

Panu Saaristo, Health and Care Team Lead from the IFRC Budapest Office will attend the conference ‘An EU comprehensive approach that prioritises sound mental health for all’ hosted by the EU in Brussels. Sarah Harrison, Head of the PS Centre MHPSS Technical Unit, has provided input to Panu’s speaking points.

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