Mental health and international development: Launch of DFID/FCDO Position Paper and voices from the field

Thursday 20th August 2020, 11:00AM-12:20PM BST

The COVID-19 outbreak has underscored the importance of mental health and well-being to our daily lives and our work. Mental health is something that helps all of us live full lives, but in times of stress, we can all experience distress, or even develop mental health conditions. Meanwhile, people with mental health conditions are more likely to be in vulnerable situations that worsen the social, emotional, physical and economic impacts of the pandemic, and all too often are “left behind” in emergency response as well as ongoing development efforts. 

In recent years, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) has been working to articulate its position and approach to the integration of mental health into other development sectors. This webinar brought together development professionals from DFID and civil society to formally launch the DFID/FCDO Theory of Change and Position Paper on mental health and psychosocial disabilities, as well as a new K4D-DFID Topic Guide on mental health for development professionals. 

We also took this opportunity to learn from development professionals currently working in the field to integrate mental health into their COVID-19 response, as well as the experience of people affected by mental health conditions. This webinar was co-hosted by the Mental Health Innovation Network at the Centre for Global Mental Health (CGMH) and the Bond Sub-Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Disability. 



  • Diana Dalton (Head of Inclusive Societies Department)
  • Alastair Ager (Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor)

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: 

  • Julian Eaton (CBM Global and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Tom Shakespeare (PENDA, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Civil society: 

  • Alberto Vásquez (Office of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
  • Olayinka Omigbodun (University of Ibadan)
  • Amanda Essien (TLM Nigeria) 
  • Esenam Drah (MEHSOG campaign and GMHPN, Ghana)

Key Resources

A number of different key resources will be discussed during this webinar. If you wish to download them in advance, please use the links below:

Policy and legislation
All disorders
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