Summit Mind the Mind Now draws out political commitment for mental health

On October 7 and 8 the Netherlands hosted the Mind the Mind Now Summit, organized by the Dutch Ministry of foreign Affairs and Minister Sigrid Kaag. The Summit was completely focused on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings. War Trauma Foundation for the first time presented itself as ARQ International, the international hub of ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre.

At the summit’s marketplace ARQ International co-organised a booth on behalf of the STRENGTHS project for Syrian Refugees. The booth was focused on scalable psychological interventions for conflict and emergency affected people in humanitarian settings. During the summit different experts from ARQ and the ARQ International network were present, some of whom had been part of working groups preparing the conference. ARQs Janetta Bosch and Trudy Mooren occupied the friendship bench to ask people how they were after a full day on their feet. Colleagues Elise Griede and Sadaf Kaykha cornered Sir Lowcock, UN Under Secretary and Minister Kaag at the booth.

The summit closing included the presentation of a resolution from the Ministry to prioritise Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in humanitarian settings. An impressive line of ministers from many different corners of the world (a.o. Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia) pledged their support to this. This summit was an important step to bring the importance of mental health and wellbeing of emergency affected populations into on the radar of politics, UN bodies and donors around the world. The next ministerial conference on MHPSS will take place in 2020 in France.