A goal of the UN Committee is to increase awareness at UN meetings that mental health is a key aspect of well-being and that we must educate about trauma-informed mental health care. ISSTD endorsed a statement put out by the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO): “COVID-19 Recovery: Building Back Better”and, in responding to this statement, suggested that mental health, and trauma informed mental health be included within future statements.
Currently all UN activities are happening remotely on video meetings. ISSTD has been represented at the following meetings sponsored by the NGO Committee on Mental Health:
- April 30, 2020 Refugee/Migrant Health During and After COVID-19
- May 28, 2020 Amplifying Global Resilience: Caring for Ourselves & Others
In the May 28th meeting, one of the most moving presentations was given by two individuals who started a school in Assam, India. They have been helping older children with behavior issues to learn to teach younger children. This has benefited the older children as well as the younger children. The videos they showed were deeply moving. There was also some discussion about the shared trauma of clinicians helping individuals during this extreme stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other events attended included
June 26, 2020 The Fabric of Healing, an event launching a 3D multimedia virtual exhibition of story cloths made by women in the healing groups in Ecuador, Nepal, Bosnia and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
And in October we were able to watch an inspiring collection of videos collated for World Mental Health Day 2020.
Whenever possible we will post links to those meetings on ISSTD World so that our community can watch and participate.
The UN Committee is growing. Recently we added two additional members. We are also actively seeking members from countries other than the United States, hoping to make the ISSTD UN Committee globally diverse as well. We are looking to create template statements that that ISSTD can endorse across UN meetings, and have a goal to create a short video we can share, as well, sometime in the new year.