Global needs of young people with mental ill-health in the spotlight at Davos

Global needs of young people with mental ill-health in the spotlight at Davos

10 February 2020

Orygen’s roadmap for global reform of youth mental health, developed in partnership with the World Economic Forum, was shared at the forum’s annual meeting at Davos in January.

At the meeting, in front of global leaders and stakeholders, Orygen promoted the work it is doing in partnership with the forum to develop a global mental health framework to improve the mental health of young people and engage the public and private sectors in investing in youth mental health.

Davos hosted approximately 15 public, community and multilateral sessions on mental health, with participation from young people.

Orygen welcomed the opportunity to participate in a public session on youth mental health with Orygen’s executive director, Professor Patrick McGorry, as a panellist along with Jeremy Farrar, executive director of the Wellcome Trust; Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF; and Sanju Sachamuneewongse, global shaper from the Bangkok hub.

Professor McGorry said that, globally, young people have the worst access to mental health care despite mental ill-health being the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes for young people aged 10-24.

“The partnership we have formed with the World Economic Forum is a crucial step in attracting much-needed attention to this global challenge and working towards a goal of improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people worldwide,” Professor McGorry said.

The development of the global mental health framework has involved extensive consultation with young people, families, services and programs across 25 countries, said Craig Hodges, Orygen’s global project lead.

 “We asked about their views on mental health and the types of effective services and supports that are required and that are culturally relevant and appropriate to their countries,” Mr Hodges said.

“These consultations, along with those that occurred alongside regional forum meetings in Africa and the US, have helped to shape a global framework that can be implemented in a range of settings and contexts irrespective of resourcing capacity.

“The real success of the project has been the engagement and participation of young people at every level. From project staff, the steering committee, consultations and the development of resources, young people have been a key driver,” Mr Hodges said.

He said there would be an official launch of the global framework, case for investment and an advocacy toolkit at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2020.

“This will also serve as the launch of the implementation phase of the global framework project, where Orygen will work with organisations and governments that wish to implement the framework in their country or region.” Mr Hodges said.

More information on the project can be found here