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Advancing Progress on Mental Health Worldwide For All

Published: 17 July 2023
Updated: 17 July 2023
Anil at APM 2023

Our Founder and Executive Director Anil Patil attended the Global Mental Health Action Network Annual Meeting in Cape Town last month and here shares his experience…

I was pleased to attend this year’s Global Mental Health Action Network Annual Meeting which brought together members from 45 countries across 6 continents, marking a significant milestone for global mental health. This hybrid event was attended by 150 people in Cape Town and over 500 who joined online, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing on a global scale.

Right at the start of the conference I spoke to the floor and highlighted the issues faced by unpaid carers, emphasising their vital role in supporting people with mental illness or mental health challenges and the importance of addressing their unique needs.

I am pleased to say that thereafter it emerged as a key theme throughout the event and the importance of acknowledging and supporting unpaid carers, highlighting their pivotal role in the mental health ecosystem was recognised.

group at apm 2023

Addressing data gaps on mental health was another focal point. Participants discussed how to gather and utilise data for effective advocacy, ensuring mental health remains a global priority. Attention was drawn to the transformative power of data in bringing about systemic changes in countries where Carers Worldwide operates.

Global mental health advocacy for creating national impact was also on the agenda, with speakers sharing experiences and strategies for combating stigma and discrimination. The meeting underscored the significant role of unpaid carers in tackling these societal issues.

Thought-provoking discussions on mental health finance also urged us to think about innovative funding approaches. We spoke about the current state of mental health funding and explored future investment possibilities. The importance of studying the social return on investment (SROI) of interventions was also talked about. This is something that we at Carers Worldwide have already been doing, with our 10 Year Impact Report looking at the SROI of our Carers Worldwide Model and finding that for every £1 invested, we generate £7.79 of social and material return. You can read more about it here.


In summary, the Global Mental Health Action Network Annual Meeting 2023 was a brilliant event to attend, and I was pleased to be a part of the community working to advance progress on mental health worldwide, and to be able to bring the perspective of the carers to the table also.

As one participant eloquently put it,

"Mental Health is everybody's business, just as data and carers' issues are. It is time for all of us to take responsibility and contribute to the cause."

This sentiment encapsulates the collective responsibility required to address global mental health challenges and pave the way for a more inclusive and supportive society.

Anil Patil
Founder and Executive Director