Out of the Shadows, spoken word by Shane Green

Out of the Shadows, spoken word by Shane Green


Spoken by Shane Green at the Solving the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health: Maintaining Momentum on the Road to Scale Up on 15 April 2016, Washington D.C. The piece reflects on the landmark two-day event Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Priority co-organized by the World Health Organization and World Bank on 13 - 14 April 2016.

Out of the Shadows

Mental health’s a human right; come out of the shadows and into the light.

Out of the shadows and on with the battle.

The journey to parity: we step forth with clarity

that true mental health must not be a rarity.

Making mental health a development priority.

Here we stand surrounded by a roomful of authority

on preventing mental illness and promoting mental health,

and here we stand alongside those with well-intentioned wealth,

but now I’m getting mad…really, how can we be here? 

For the love of god, neglect costs us a trillion bucks a year! 

A trillion reasons treatment makes good economic sense,

and several billion suff’ring, so get your butt down off the fence. 

Put your money where your mouth is, where your power and your clout is. 

The notes are there, the votes are there, the health and freakin’ hope is there.

One in four? Not anymore; this hits us all: It’s four in four!

Raise the roof!? Let’s raise the floor; no needless suff’ring anymore.

You know what frikkin’ kills me is we know that this is treatable;

To leave it unaddressed?... man, that is simply inconceivable.

We know some things that work; mental health it is achievable. 

So let’s take the best to scale, and make our cause believable.

Alright, it sounded kind of funny when Margaret Chen said “where’s the monies?”

But I want to know, want you to show me how we get where we need to go.

We have solutions, know-how, innovators who can show how

to get this done. Don’t walk, let’s run!

We can do it, so let’s get to it.

Hashtag mental health now.