Mental Health Learning Journey

The World Health Organisation has recommended that people with mental health conditions and those living with psychosocial disabilities should be targeted as a vulnerable group in international development. Although mental health and psychosocial disabilities were not included in the Millennium Development Goals, they are now covered by six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which also mention persons in vulnerable situations. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda calls for a global shift to translate momentum  in mental health research in low- and middle-income countries into real-world policy and programming, in order to ensure that “no one is left behind”.

This Learning Journey was led by MHIN in collaboration with K4D, for the former UK Department for International Development (DFID, now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, or FCDO). The overall purpose of this Learning Journey was to help equip development professionals to respond to the inclusion of mental health in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, within their own programmes and within the sector more broadly, by cultivating an active community of practice and building new networks with key partners in the UK and other countries. Resources developed through this Learning Journey are collected here, for easy access.

Also on this page, you will find additional resources related to the DFID/FCDO Position Paper and Theory of Change on mental health and psychosocial disabilities, which was launched in August 2020 after the conclusion of the Learning Journey and reflects the organisation's internal discussions on mental health as well as extensive external consultation with civil society, particularly the Bond Mental Health Sub-Group.

Introducing the Learning Journey

In this blog we explain how the Mental Health Learning Journey came about and what's coming next.

A Topic Guide for Development Professionals

This topic guide is a primer for development professionals interested in learning about the basics of mental health and key issues.

HEART Talks Videos

This series of videos includes experts presenting their ideas and sharing information on global mental health topics.


Check out the four infographics created specifically for this Learning Journey in Global Mental Health.

Mental Health Is Part of Everything We Do in Development

This blog highlights the strong link between mental health and other issues in international development.

Seminar on mental health for development professionals

Grace Ryan outlines arguments for and examples of the integration of mental health into other areas of international development.

DFID/FCDO Position Paper and Theory of Change

A Position Paper and Theory of Change on mental health and psychosocial disabilities for staff of DFID (now the FCDO) and beyond.

DFID/FCDO Launch of Position Paper and Theory of Change

A webinar celebrating the launch of DFID's (FCDO's) Position Paper and Theory of Change on mental health and psychosocial disabilities.