MIT Solve Brain Health Initiative — Massachusetts

Please see letter below from Timothy Maurer regarding MIT’s Solve Brain Health Initiative. Please distribute to your networks and participate as much as possible:

I am reaching out to you today to invite members of the Mental Health Worldwide community to participate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Solve brain health initiative.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to improve brain health and fitness for all. Our interdisciplinary community is made up of researchers, entrepreneurs, technologists, and change leaders all contributing to addressing global challenges through open innovation. We’re seeking dynamic technological solutions that work to address challenges in brain health and invite members of your university to participate in our open and collaborative community.

Will you join our movement by helping us spread the word of this opportunity to other innovators within your network? Our team is available to discuss strategy, ideas for content, or provide more details on Solve. Our challenges will close for solutions
on August 1st.

Timothy Maurer
Community Health Team | SOLVE
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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Special Rapporteur report regarding mental health and human rights — the World

Latest report from the Special Rapporteur regarding mental health and human rights.

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The need to stop chaining continues … around the globe

Link below from In2MH on Facebook. We continue to need ‘stop chaining’ campaigns in Mental Health. Stigma, lack of information, lack of resources and programs continue to leave people resorting to desperate measures.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

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iPromise2 Campaign — USA

Mental Health Worldwide encourages increasing awareness and advocacy, and decreasing stigma and silence regarding mental health around the world. We are pleased to share with you the work and iPromise2 Campaign that has begun by a group in Florida. Please share this information with your networks and help them if you can – kickstarter link below. Also see below for contact information for Gabriela Regalado, Associate Producer.
Thank you!

Below you can find the links for our different sources including our website and our current videos we have produced. Feel free to share and any questions or suggestions are welcomed.
iPromise2 Pilot
Introduction to Mental Health 101
Anxiety 101
Depression 101

#iPromise2 Kickoff- Mental health Awareness Celebration

If you could please help us share our kickstarter to be able to continue to produce videos like the ones above to spread awareness and educate the audience about mental health, we would tremendously appreciate it.
The link is:


This pilot aims to provide awareness, understanding, visibility and support for those suffering through mental illness.

Warmest regards,
Gabriela Regalado
Associate Producer
Information Television Network
6650 Park of Commerce Blvd.
Boca Raton, FL 33487
Tel: 561- 997-7771 Ext: 446


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CRAZYWISE documentary and on-line town hall — USA

CRAZYWISE – new documentary looking at psychosis in a different light. See link below for media kit and register for the online town hall that will take place on March 22nd. Link to documentary is given to registrants. Make sure your voice is heard!! Thank you to the Crazywise team for this opportunity!

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for helping us promote the event Rethinking Madness: Psychosis and Spiritual Awakening! We’re extremely excited for this conversation and are ready to launch our promotions on March 1st.

In this link is our event’s media kit where you can find artwork for social media and text for you to use in your promotions.  Please feel free to use the copy provided but we’re happy for you to adapt things to go with your organization’s message.

Just a reminder, we’re announcing this event on March 1st and will continue promoting it until the event on March 22nd.

If you have any questions, please dont’ hesitate to ask.


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Calling on Immediate Action in S. Africa!! To President Zuma — S. Africa

To: President Zuma, Minister Dlamini and Minister Motsoledi
7 February 2017

Re: Esidimeni Crisis

The Ubuntu Centre is a Disabled people’s Organization that represents the voice of people with psychosocial disabilities, users and survivors of psychiatry and mental health care users. We advocate for our human rights and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ratified by our country March 2007) and the White Paper on the Rights of People with Disabilities, adopted and signed by President Zuma and Cabinet in December 2016.

We call and ask for the following:
1. Release a full list (and if Government does not have it), we call on Life Care Esidimeni to provide this information, of the reported1500 Esidimeni residents that were “sent home” or discharged when “deinstitutionalization” pogramme began. Provide us with their addresses and who they went home to? How many are alive? Do they have access to community supports and mental health care?
2. We have grave concerns regarding recommendation ( i ) of the Health Ombudsman Report – The SAHRC was notified on 15 March of impending doom and requested to urgently intervene. They did nothing. Please attached see attached proof of letter sent to SAHRC on 15 March 2015. They did receive it. In July when meeting Commissioner Malatji at a formal Section 11 Meeting, it was acknowledged that not much had been done, that when phoned on 24 August by SAHRC – I warned that people were going to die and still they did nothing except write a letter to this MEC and her department. Are they really suitable to run an investigation?
3. We want a full Parliamentary Review done by OUR ELECTED Parliamentarians into the Mental Health “Care ” System in SA. Is it CRPD Compliant- ultimately we realize that short term solutions will just result in a repeat of this disaster and the ongoing violations of our people. We remain hesitant that even though the legislative frameworks existed for the SAHRC to intervene – they have failed us and must be questioned before our democratically elected representatives as to why? Why did you let them die? Senzani na?
4. We want Justice and reparations made. No TRC solution – criminal sanctions applied to all responsible. This was torture and our country must make good on the obligations of the Convention on Torture which we have also ratified
5. We need to decolonize mental health in Africa – the strict adherence to the western colonial medical model of pills and hospitalization has killed people. More resources thrown at psychiatry is not a suitable solution.

Your Sincerely

Annie Robb
7 February 2016
Media enquiries: 0720441024

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No Guns: 94+ Silent Deaths and Still Counting — S. Africa

We are very saddened to learn of the tragedy and neglect and ultimate death of over 94 persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in South Africa.

Because of reckless de-institutionalisation that was not implemented or supervised properly, people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities died from starvation, dehydration and neglect. They were transferred to NGOs that were not licensed or prepared to care for them, sometimes far from their homes and families and in some cases without families being aware of the transfer. A summary from the Ombud report is below. We have the full report as well as a report from the Ubuntu Centre to the UN Special Rapporteur for Disability about this situation. Please contact us at for these reports and please distribute widely to your networks.

Final report into the ‘Circumstances surrounding the deaths of mentally ill patients: Gauteng Province’

A. Background
The Health Ombud, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba was requested by the Minister of Heath, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to undertake an investigation into the ‘Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Mentally ill Patients in Gauteng Province and advice on the way forward’. The Honourable MEC of Health in Gauteng, Ms Qedani Mahlangu was supportive that the Ombud should investigate the matter as priority and urgent.
The investigation was instituted when the Gauteng Department of Health terminated its contract formally with Life Esidemeni (LE) Health Care Centre on 31 March 2016 and extended the contract for further months to 30 June 2016. An estimated 1371 chronic mentally ill patients were rapidly transferred to hospitals and 27 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from 1 April to 30 June 2016 in Gauteng Province.
As part the investigation, the Ombud requested for clinical records and any relevant information or documents from the MEC of Health and Gauteng Department of Health. He constituted a team of seven (7) independent psychiatric experts with vast clinical expertise as well as (1) expert experienced in public health to assist with the investigation. The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) also constituted a team of inspectors to conduct inspections at the health establishments concerned. The purpose of the inspections was to assess the veracity of the allegations as well as to determine the capability and competence of the alleged health establishments with regards to the management and care for mental health care patients.
The investigation was requested in terms of Sections 81A (1-11) and 81B (2) of the National Health Amendment Act, (Act No.12 of 2013).
The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health, chaired by professor Solomon Rateamane was dispatched even before the Ombud was appointed to urgently visit and assess conditions in NGOs to intervene where necessary and make the necessary recommendations to save life and prevent more death or further loss of life.
B. Key Findings
Upon the investigation, the Ombud has established that:
a. A total of ninety-four (94+) and not thirty-six (36) mentally ill patients (as initially and commonly reported publicly in the media) died between 23 March 2016 and 19 December 2016 in Gauteng Province. This total number of 94 should be seen as a working and provisional number.
b. All the 27 NGOs to which patients were transferred operated under invalid licences; therefore, all patients who died in these NGOs died in unlawful circumstances.
c. The NGOs where the majority of patients died had neither the basic competence and experience, the leadership/managerial capacity nor ‘fitness for purpose’ and were often poorly resourced. The existent unsuitable conditions and competence in some of these NGOs precipitated and are closely linked to the observed ‘higher or excess’ deaths of the mentally ill patients.
d. 75 (79.78%) patients died from 5 NGO/hospital complexes (Precious Angels 20, Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Centre (CCRC)/ Siyabadinga/Anchor 25, Mosego/Takalani 15, Tshepong 10 and Hephzibah 5);
e. There were 11 NGOs with no deaths, 8 NGOs with average deaths and 8 NGOs with ‘higher or excess’ death;
f. Only 4 Mental Health Care Users (MCHUs) died in hospitals compared to 77 MCHUs deaths at NGOs; in absolute numbers for every 1 death at the hospitals there were 19 deaths at the NGOs but correcting for the total base population the ratio is 1:7. This ratio is very high.
g. When the MEC of Health made announcement on 13 September 2016, 77 patients had already lost their lives.
h. At the time of writing the Report, 94 patients had died in 16 out of 27 NGOs and 3 hospitals.
i. 95.1% deaths occurred in the NGOs from those directly transferred from LE Health Care Centre.
j. Available evidence by the Expert Panel and the Ombud showed that a ‘high-level decision’ to terminate the LE Health Care Centrecontract precipitously was taken, followed by a ‘programme of action’ with disastrous outcomes/consequences including the deaths of Assisted MCHUs. The Ombud identified three key players in the project: MEC Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu, Head of Department (HoD),Dr. Tiego Ephraim Selebano and Director Dr. Makgabo Manamela at times referred to as ‘dramatis personae’ in the text. Their fingerprints are ‘peppered’ throughout the project. The decision was reckless, unwise and flawed, with inadequate planning and a chaotic and ‘rushed or hurried’ implementation process.
k. Several factors in the ‘programme of action’ were identified by the (Expert Panel, OHSC Inspectors, Ombud and Ministerial Advisory Committee) that contributed and precipitated to the accelerated deaths of mentally ill patients at the NGOs. The transfer process particularly, was often described as ‘chaotic or a total shamble’;
l. The Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project, as it became known was: done in a ‘hurry/rush’; with ‘chaotic’ execution; in an environment with no developed, no tradition, no culture of primary mental health care community-based service framework and infrastructure;
m. Human Rights Violations.
There is prima facie evidence, that certain officials and certain NGOs and some activities within the Gauteng Marathon Project violated the Constitution and contravened, the National Health Act and the Mental Health Care Act (2002). Some executions and implementation of the project have shown a total disregard of the rights of the patients and their families, including but not limited to the Right to Human dignity; Right to life; Right to freedom and security of person; Right to privacy, Right to protection from an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, Right to access to quality health care services, sufficient food and water and Right to an administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.

C. Negligent/Reckless Decisions/Actions
The Ombud established that the following decisions/actions were negligent or reckless by the Department of Health:
a. Overcrowded NGOs which are more restrictive, is contrary to the deinstitutionalization policy of the MHCA and MH Strategy and Policy.
b. Transfer of patients to far-away places from their communities, is contrary to the policy of deinstitutionalization.
c. Transfer of patients to NGOs that were ‘not ready’, that were ‘not prepared properly for the task’.
d. Transfer of patients without the provision of structured community mental health care services is contrary to the Mental Health policy.
e. NGOs without qualified staff and skills to care for the special requirements of the patients.
f. NGOs without appropriate infrastructure and not adequately financially resourced.
g. NGOs without safety and security.
h. NGOs without proper heating during winter, some were described as ‘cold’.
i. NGOs without food and water, where patients became emaciated and some died of ‘dehydration’.
j. Grant and sign licences without legal or delegated authority.
k. 27 NGOs operating under invalid licences.
l. To transfer patients without the knowledge of their families or relatives.
m. Change the pre-selected placements of patients into NGOs, thus transporting patients to several NGOs.
n. To transport patients particularly ‘frail and sickly’ patients in inappropriate vehicles.
o. To transfer patients from the ‘structured environment of 24-hours non-stop professional care’ in a licensed institution to an environment of ‘overcrowded, non-structured, unpredictable substandard or no care at the NGOs with invalid licences.
p. To transfer any patient from a place of care to one of substandard or no care runs against the fundamental philosophy and principle of health care i.e. the promotion of well-being and life; this contravenes the Constitution.
q. To transfer ‘precipitously and chaotically’ without a well thought-out plan and against the advice of experts and professional practitioners of psychiatry and mental health.
r. To have made promises to families and the court that were not borne out by evidence, i.e. that patients’ care will not be compromised and patients will be transferred to places that are equivalent to LE Health Care Centre.
s. The manner, the rate, the scale and the speed of transferring such large numbers of patients were reckless.
t. These decisions/actions contravened the Constitution, NHA and the MHCA.

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Bell Let’s Talk Day — Canada

Bell Let’s Talk Day – January 25

Raising awareness and funding for some Mental Health initiatives in Canada

Great way to raise awareness & funds through social media!

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KOSHISH Newsletters and Publications — Nepal

Latest newsletter from our member organization in Nepal!

Greetings from KOSHISH Organization. Link below will take you to archive newsletters and other publications by KOSHISH.

And Congratulations to Matrika Devkota, Chairperson of KOSHISH, awarded with Ashoka Fellowship!!


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World Mental Health Day – October 10, 2016

The WHO has a number of links for psychological first aid resources/training on their website for World Mental Health Day October 10, 2016. Please see their website and link below for more information.



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