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World Federation for Mental Health Plans Upcoming Events

WFMH has put research findings into practice by bringing new science-based knowledge to community-based prevention, identification, and treatment of mental disorders, as shown in our World Mental Health Day packets.

By Ellen Mercer, MA

Editors note: APA is a member of the World Federation for Mental Health, a coalition of organizations and individuals. This article, written by WFMH Director for the Center for Transcultural Mental Health, Ellen Mercer, gives an overview of the mission and activities of the WFMH.

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) is the only international, multidisciplinary, grassroots advocacy andeducation organization concerned with all aspects of mental health. The World Federation envisions a world in which mental health is a priority for all people.

Their public policies and programs reflect the crucial importance of mental health in the lives of individuals. The mission of the WFMH is to promote the advancement of mental health awareness, prevention, advocacy, and best practice recovery focused interventions worldwide. The goals are as follows:

  • To heighten public awareness about the importance of mental health, and to gain understanding and improve attitudes about mental disorders

  • To promote mental health and prevent mental disorders

  • To improve the care, treatment and recovery of people with mental disorders

The APA is a valued member of the World Federation for Mental Health and, as such, is an important collaborator in our outreach and programs. There are many ways that APA members can become involved in WFMH and obtain materials that are helpful to psychologists around the world. WFMH sponsors World Congresses every two years and World Conferences on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders on alternating years. There are also other conferences planned on an ad hoc basis; WFMH members are the first to hear about these conferences and have discounted registration fees.

The next conferences are scheduled as follows:

  • 2007 North American Conference on Transcultural Mental Health in a Changing World. October 2007 in Minneapolis, MN. For further information, contact Ellen Mercer.

  • Fifth World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders. “Mental Health and Wellbeing: It’s Everybody’s Business” Melbourne, Australia, 10-12 September 2008. For further information, email Mental Health at VicHealth or go to the VicHealth website.

WFMH has put research findings into practice by bringing new science-based knowledge to community-based prevention, identification, and treatment of mental disorders, as shown in our World Mental Health Day (October 10 of each year) packets, which have been prepared since 1992 and published in a number of different languages. These packets are available on the WFMH website for free download. Anyone wanting a packet mailed to them should email WFMH for information. The 2007 theme will focus on transcultural mental health and will be available in the summer of 2007. Previous World Mental Health Day themes are as follows:

  • 2006: Building Awareness - Reducing Risks: Mental Illness and Suicide

  • 2005: Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span

  • 2004: The Relationship between Physical and Mental Health

  • 2003: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children and Adolescents

  • 2002: The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children and Adolescents

The WFMH website also has materials available on the following topics:

  • Breaking Through Barriers: Depression Awareness Campaign Website

  • Keeping Care Complete: Caregivers’ Perspectives on Mental Illness and Wellness

  • Body and Mind: Metabolic Syndrome and Mental Health

  • Physical Symptoms of Depression: The Painful Truth

  • Without Boundaries: Challenges and Hopes for Living with ADHD

  • And soon to come: an international information and awareness packet on Recognizing and Understanding Schizophrenia in Young Adults. For more information, email the WFMH for information.

WFMH welcomes new organizational and individual members to receive regular updates of activities and programs and member rates at meetings. Please see World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) for additional information. Ψ